I remember falling asleep to my mother’s wonderful voice while she read ‘Hattie and the Fox’ by Mem Fox. Books are the best things that happened to me. I’m glad my mom introduced me to a plenty of reading. There were not many things to do those days… no mobiles to play games, no Youtube and no Internet! Most of the times it was just television and even that was restricted. We could watch TV only for a couple of hours and not more than that. We’d get to watch a movie on Sunday and that’s about it. Amidst all this, my favorite thing to do was reading. I’d pick a book, stick my head into it and fly away into an imaginary world without a ticket. I’d get to know plenty of things by reading books.

I can’t tell you how much I fell in love with ‘The Polar Express’ by Chris Van Allsburg. I’m sure most of the 80s and 90s kids know about this amazing book. I never knew what snow is like. But after reading this book, I added visiting North Pole to my bucket list. The way the author beautifully takes me through the wonderful journey after I board the Polar Express is magical. The train took me through dense forests and huge mountains. I still read this book now and then whenever I miss my childhood.

Matilda is particularly my favorite and I must say I blame it on this book for turning into a book worm. I liked how smart Matilda is at such a young age and how she always stood up for herself and for Miss Honey. I must say, at some point, I believed reading books would land me magical powers. So silly of me! This is a wonderful book for kids even today. I totally recommend this one to my daughter.

Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’ is another favorite book of mine. I liked the way the author described how it was like during the World War not in a human point of view but in a horse’s point of view. I literally cried when Topthorn dies of heart failure. This is the book that inspired me to read more and more historic fiction in the later part of my life.

It would be a huge mistake if I forget to mention my favorite book, the Bible which had so many wonderful stories, about David and Goliath, Jacob, King Solomon, Jesus and his miracles and much more. And the picture Bible gifted to me by my aunt is still my favorite.

The best thing about the books I read during my childhood was the beautiful cover pages. They are so alluring and I could not take my eyes off of the books when I see them in a book store or a library. The illustrations are mesmerizing. Especially the illustrations from the books Matilda, Hansel and Gretel, The Tale of Peter Rabbit are wonderful. The illustrations from the book took me into a dream world from where I never wanted to come back.

I was so obsessed with books and stories, I still, am! I read books daily before going to bed. I used to bring home books from my school library. Let me tell you a secret, I used to hide the story books in my school textbooks and secretly read during my class hours. I read books sitting on the terrace, in the portico, under the bed, hiding in the attic, and almost everywhere.

These books ignited the imagination in my mind, made me believe in fairies, these beautiful stories told me that there could be dragons but at the same time, we could slay them if we are brave enough. I understood various cultures at a very young age through these books. I grew my passion for art only through reading books. I started believing in magic and learnt many values through the morals of these wonderful stories. I bet you all have your own favorite childhood storybooks. Tonight I’m going to dust off some of my favorite books, sit and read at least two of them and rekindle those magical days.