बालसाहित्यांक २०१७ लेख

Far away in a fantastic land

Sweaty hands grip the glossy book cover as my eyes frantically race across the intriguing climax. People talk around me, but I am far away in a fantastic land of magical myths or unbelievable facts…
This is the regular reading experience of I, Saachi, a sixth-grade student in Canada. Reading has long been my passion and entertainment (Sometimes it’s my nickname too).

I started reading at four years old. I think that an important factor in this is that since a very young age, my parents had read to me. I then must have memorized the words, then understood the letter meanings. Now, even after I know how to read, I am still influenced in reading by my parents in several ways, one of which is that I choose books related to the ones that my parents are reading. Recently, my mother had been very interested in satires. Soon after, in the bookstore, I automatically chose out some satire books to be on my wish list. Another way in which they have influenced me is that sometimes I will read the books that they own, be impressed, and then want to read more of the same author or type. The last and most obvious way is that they suggest books to me. I, for some reason, will always disagree, then read a few pages and fall in love with the book. This teaches me to never doubt my parents, but every time it happens again!

One of the most influential books that I have read is Haroun and the Sea of Stories. It was one of the first good-sized  novels that I read. First it was a funny, exciting novel for children, but now I realize that the book was also an adults book and that there was a hidden message of communication and silence behind the turbaned water genies and the shadowy chupwalas.
I have recently read The Hate U Give, or THUG, by Angie Thomas. This is the most revealing book that I have ever read. It talks about modern racism in the U.S.A. How innocent black children are not safe from police forces and how they need to speak out in order for justice.
The best book of all time in my book(pun intended) is most definitely Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book is laugh-out-loud hilarious, and everything is just so improbable but yet so possible. It’s science fiction, but it is better defined as a straight-out comedy. The jokes are so blunt, so straightforward that it is hard to miss them.

Reading a book differs from watching a movie because the director of the movie interprets the book that the movie is based on in a certain way that may be different than your interpretation. When reading the Harry Potter books, I imagined Hogwarts as closed, bright castle, but the movie director thought of it as a shady place with lots of open courtyards and terraces. Another difference is that with books, you can add a lot more detail and not worry about time constraints. Movies, especially the ones based on novels, tend to be a lot more general, skipping details that may be useful later on and overdramatizing exciting or romantic events. This may be because of time restrictions.

I prefer reading hard-copy books to e-books because there is a satisfaction in finishing a book and having pride at the length of the book that you have read. It is like climbing a mountain and looking down at to see how far you’ve climbed. It also relives the impression of being on your devices all day, and the absence of blue light is good for your eyes. On e-books, there is no epilogue to base your choice on.

Choosing books is a processed decision for me. So to say, I choose the a book by its cover. Before I look at the back page description, I select the book mainly by title and author. The title has to be mysterious  or strange to make me curious. Author is less important, but I am more likely to choose a real-sounding name like P.G. Wodehouse, and less likely to choose an overly fake one like U.R. Weird. I am also likely to be less apprehensive towards classics because my reasoning is that they are only classics because they have stood the test of time.

I enjoy reading because it is so amazing to be able to make a vivid image in your mind out of stationary words on paper. It is awesome that humans can decipher lines and squiggles to mean, say, a man is on a rocket ship,or, a girl turns into a frog. Reading helps me in other areas of life. When I write stories, sometimes I copy tools that professional authors use in the books that I read. My spelling is improved because I can tell if a word is spelt wrongly since I may have seen it in a book. My vocabulary is broader because I pick up new words as I read them. Most importantly, reading makes me imagine and dream about the lands, people, and creatures that I read about.
– Saachi Deshpande
Standard VI, Canada
Illustration : Avanti Kulkarni
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