2018 Apr 23
Every avid book reader knows that there are achievements you unlock with every step of your Bibliophile Journey. Most of us may not remember the first book that initiated this addiction but we’re too invested in it to ever back out now. This World Book Day, let’s take a nostalgic look back at the phases that every ardent reader is bound to go through:
1. The Introduction
Regardless of where we really started from, almost every bibliophile is born from fairy tales and Enid Blyton. Somewhere around the age of 8, you can find us snuggled up in a corner of the house (much to our parents relief), quietly reading a Noddy book or something from the Faraway Tree series. For days after, we’d be making “Noddy’s car goes boop boop” jokes on all of our family members, but that’s a small price to pay for hours of our silence.
2. Mystery Phase
Somewhere around the age of 10 brought us to the Secret Seven and Famous Five phase where we spent our days exploring Amma’s flower garden and building “secret pillow forts” with nangi and malli, imagining adventures like “Five on a Treasure Island” and wishing our lives were as exciting as Timmy the dog’s. As we grew older, these mysteries evolved into the likes of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and more!
Graduating from the Mystery phase, we moved on to Animorphs and Goosebumps, craving more adrenaline from our reads. Remember those numbered Goosebumps books that gave us different endings based on the storyline we chose to follow? You could read one book 70 different ways and it won’t get old – but Thaththi sure got pissed that we never turned off our night lights!
4. Feel-good Books
The next phase included Young Adult Novels because let’s admit it; we all had a Roald Dahl phase. The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches were some of my favorite feel-good books, initiating the slow transition into more elaborate story lines.
5. Early Exploration into Adulthood
Do you remember those few books that you would secretly read, hoping Amma wouldn’t find out that you’ve gazed upon such “explicit” content? If you’re a girl, this was the Flubber by Judy Blume and Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot phase that brought us into the world of boyfriends and lipstick and first kisses. Looking back, you realize there was nothing terribly wrong with the series but nevertheless, you know Amma would have washed your mouth with soap if she found them under your pillow!
Moving into a phase of bigger books and finer detail, our Fantasy phase brought us to the likes of Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings. More mature storylines and elaborate character development, you could be sure as all hell that we were first in line at the theatres when they finally released the movies!
This is the phase we may have been forced into. The part in our lives when we thought High School Literature was a good idea and ended up trying to read the likes of Wuthering Heights, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and even dabbled in some Shakespeare. Whilst some of us loved the classics, others just gave up leisure reading Brontë, resorted to SparkNotes, and hoped ALs would be kind.
This phase includes the terrific works of the likes of Dan Brown, Jodi Picoult, and Khaled Hosseini. Regardless of genre, this is the stage that you really get emotionally invested in your books and are able to put them down only when a Picoult case finally draws to an end or Robert Langdon finally solves yet another mystery. Good thing too because this is the last phase where you will actually enjoy reading.
9. Goodbye Books
Last but not least, the final phase of your reading is the Adult Phase wherein you have zero time to actually sit down and leisure read, unless you count the hour spent on the bus on the way to work. Of course, the lack of time won’t stop you from visiting book sales like The Big Bad Wolf and spending most of your paycheck there, but your taxing schedule will also make sure that those books will stay untouched on your shelf for months on end.
So you may still be in your early stages of book reading or you may still not be too busy to read (If so, I’m hella jealous), but the journey is what matters and as long as you have the time to pick up a novel and appreciate it, you’re still a Bibliophile at heart. Make sure you make time, at least today, to leisure read a few paragraphs of your favorite novel. Happy Book Day, Sri Lanka!