My Greatest Treasure
I grew up listening to stories from Indian Mythology that my grandmother told me. My fourth grade English teacher helped that love for stories to grow. She created a small library only for our class. Each of us would give one book to the library. Over the school year, we’d take one book every Monday and return it the next. If we lost a book, we had to replace it. That helped to make us punctual too. I realized that stories can be anywhere around me. That realization led to poetry a year later. I looked for a story, saw a butterfly, and then found a verse.
I chased academic excellence. In that chase, I fell in love with some text books. In a way, I lost the love for stories. I used to read the novels I borrowed from my neighborhood library, but there wasn’t an excitement anymore. It was only when I started to build my bookshelf that that passion for reading was revived. I bought books I’d always wanted to buy. I re-read books from authors I had loved reading in school. As I read more, I learned from what I read. I became a better writer.
I met acquaintances who loved the same books I loved. It was like the book was recommending the person. Some of those acquaintances became friends. Some of those friends became best friends. We exchanged books as part of Secret Santa during Christmas. We talked on books, personalized them with our thoughts, and made a memory to savor.
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.” – JK Rowling
My bookshelf is made of memories, of countless words I’ve learned and of countless worlds I’ve dived into. I smile when I talk about it, and it is my ray of hope when I’m sad. Yes, it is a little thing to many of those around me. But it is a little thing that matters. My bookshelf is not just a bookshelf. It is my treasure chest.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
5th August, 2017)