It was around mid-February 2019 when I got my library membership at the college. I walked towards the block where our massive library hosted a few hundred books inside.

This part of the campus was seldom crowded with students as it consisted of just 3 large halls and a tiny staff room, unlike the other blocks which were mostly regular classrooms, one of these halls was the college library, and the rest 2 were occasionally used as a rehearsal room and a secondary assembly hall respectively.

I paid a visit to this library a couple of times earlier, not to borrow some books myself, but to give company to a friend who was in search of a management-related textbook. And at the first glance, I failed to even realize that this place had a ton of non-academic books as well.

What piqued my interest in these old rusty book racks eventually though, was the library exhibition conducted 2 weeks earlier, a master plan by the management to engage the students in making effective use of the campus resources as they called it.

To my surprise, their agenda worked, at least for me and a handful of students from the other sections. Looking at the new stock of various novels, comics, and finding some of the most popular best-selling books being displayed at the exhibition somehow left me spellbound, though I was not into reading at that point.

I loved the beautiful cover designs of those books and their intriguing titles, which made me silently introspect, whether I should opt for the library membership to borrow a couple of these.

Post my visit to the exhibition that day, I made up my mind, to sign up for the college membership and try my hand at reading, one of the strongest reasons for my newfound love of reading had its roots in social media.

I’ve seen a bunch of videos and memes on Instagram that said most of the successful people out there, especially CEOs and Investors spend a significant amount of their time reading books, which got triggered a spark in my head.

And here I was, resolute to become an avid reader within weeks, walking towards the metallic racks filled with books to pick my first ever Non-academic read, though I had not even the slightest degree of interest in novels, as I barely even liked reading my college textbooks.

But the vision of climbing the corporate ladder to become successful in life fueled my thirst for reading even further, as I was told by one of my mentors that reading improves soft skills; a non-negotiable tool that’d help me stand out from the crowd in the corporate endeavor.

This gave me more than enough reasons to pursue my reading journey, and the plenty of free time during those last couple of weeks in our final semester complemented my plan further.

Anyways, I finally stepped into the library with my freshly stamped membership card inside my pocket, I walked past all the book racks a couple of times, carefully examining each book’s spine from the rows.

I pulled out a colorful copy of a relatively new-looking tinkle comics book and a slim paperback of O’henry’s short stories collection. I had a childlike excitement to read these books, and I couldn’t wait to reach home that evening.

(To be continued….)

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Tarun

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