I am trying to figure out how or why I started reading. Or with what?
As far as I can remember, my sister got a copy of Five go off in a Caravan ( book #5 from the Famous Five series, by Enid Blyton) for her birthday. It wasn’t the first time that she got a book. Being from Calcutta, we were expected to get books as gifts for birthdays, weddings and graduations alike. But this book was special.
On Sundays, my sister would go for her painting classes with our cousins. I was too young to go for a class or maybe not as talented. So once a month I would go to my cousins’ house, have lunch and bring her back home. On one such Sunday, as we lay down for an afternoon nap, she told me the story of the book. I don’t think anyone else was listening. At least that is what I remember it as – my sister lying next to me, propped on her elbow, telling me the story of four kids who drive off in a caravan and find crooks. And she told me about farms where they got fresh bread and cheese from. And eggs and milk. But just before the end, she stopped. She said, I am too silly to know about the book.
Maybe it was a trick. Maybe it was what sisters do. But that made me pick up the book and read it till the end. I am sure I must have taken weeks to finish it. But I remember the book and the cover clearly. That was the first book I ever read without being made to.
Recently, I asked my friends and colleagues which was their first book. And 2 out of 5 times, the answer was Enid Blyton.
Then there were some classics. Some of my friends remember reading Charles Dickens, David Copperfield as the first book. (I am not sure if I could have made sense of any of those books back then.) Some comics like Tinkle and one or two picture books were also in the list.
Tell me what was your first ever complete read.