Sunday, August 28, 2011

Loving books... all over again!

Do you remember the first book you read? Or the first book you read in just a day? The first story book I remember reading as a kid was called Mickey's Christmas Carol (Dickens' A Christmas Carol, only with Disney's characters. Very cute.) And then, I remember the first actual mystery book I read. It was from the Five Find-Outers series by Enid Blyton, called the The Mystery of the Hidden House. There is no "I saw it across a crowded bookshelf" story to go with it; just a simple my sister forced me to read it. It was love at first read, though.

People who read books armed with dictionaries and all that to learn new words are crazy. Then again, the best part about reading books in a new language for the first time, is the fun of understanding new polysyllabic words all by yourself! I remember feeling quite elated whenever I discovered a new word and pompously showing it off in class. Oh, come on, everyone's done that. As you read that first book, you feel yourself getting more and more involved with every line and with every word, the writing style seems more familiar. Before you know it, you are deeply immersed in the book, loyally chuckling at all the typical jokes and running gags.

I knew I loved reading when the back of a packet of chips seemed like an interesting dinner table read. But I never actually realized how amazing it felt to be able to read! To read a thousand pages at one go and look back, totally exhausted and happy! Every new book you read is a wonderful experience, true; but nothing can beat those fine first memories.

Unless you get to do it once again, with an all new language. I read my first real German novel the other day. I could write about the book and how great it was, but that is really not the point! I enjoy reading books even now, obviously. As I read that book, though, I realized with horror and pain that reading has become sort of an ordinary habit now. Well, I intend to change that. I loved learning German, for the words and the grammar and the lovely feeling of being better at it than most people; but I never really experienced it. As I held that little German novel in my hands, I knew it was worth learning a new language just to experience that first-book-excitement, all over again.

7 comments:

comicbookgeek said...

I got the feeling too but with regional languages! Have fun!

Priya said...

I haven't even read books in my mother tongue - no regional languages for me! Although, now that you mentioned it, I might read one!! Thanks for stopping by!

Risa said...

I wish I could read something in another language. I'm hopeless with my mother tongue and am bad with languages in general. I know a wee bit of French, and I've only just begun learning the script to my mother tongue! In a sense, you could say, I'm learning a,b,c,d all over again...and it's an experience in itself. I hope to be able to, in a couple of years, read short stories or the like in my folks' language... If only the learning wasn't so hard!!

SONIYA said...

Oh puh-lease...the first book you read was NOT Mickey's Christmas Carol...it was Cheeku and the Green Cap :P Or wait - was it Meethu and the Yellow Mango ? :P

Priya said...

I meant non-picture books with more than twenty pages, each containing more than five sentences! Otherwise I believe it was Meethu and the Yellow Mango; I loved that book! :D

Priya said...

Risa - Wow, I'd love to be able to speak even a little French! German was easy because it's the same script. On the other hand, learning a language right from the script has got to be hard!!

Vishy said...

Wonderful post, Priya! The first book I read was 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' by Mark Twain. It is still one of my favourite books. I loved your anecdote about reading the back of a packet of chips :) I tried reading once with a dictionary when I was in school. I hated it. I decided that day that I will never use a dictionary while reading. I hope you review the German novel you read and how your first-German-novel-reading-experience was.

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