The World in Pages, by Arya Biju
Student Arya Biju falls in love with reading through fantasy. This post is part of 805 Lit + Art’s “My Home Library” blog series that features writers and artists enjoying their home libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 805 is proudly published by the Manatee County Public Library System, and we hope this series will help people show off their home libraries, find comfort in books, and feel a connection to the library during this difficult time.
Books, from a very young age, have been a safe haven for me. One that immerses me in an alternative reality and makes me forget about the one I am currently living in. That very transportive nature of novels is what has drawn me towards them for so many years. I love the feeling of the pages on my fingers, the way the cover of the book folds perfectly into my hand as though it’s meant for me to read, the way mere black ink on a page can hold so many stories and emotions waiting to be felt by the next beholder. Ever since I first laid my hands on the soft cover of my first novel and gazed upon the boy on the cover, forehead marked by a lightning bolt shaped scar, I knew that that book was gonna be the start of my journey through literature.
It wasn’t long before the Boy Who Lived won over my heart and from then on, Harry Potter has punctuated my childhood and adolescence. I remember lying on my stomach, feet hanging off the bed, captivated by the magical world of Hogwarts, begging my dad to take me to the library to get the next book in the series. That same copy that I had first held in my ten year old hands is still on my bookshelf. It's a little worn down and ripped at the edges, but it continues to be a testament to my childhood and the start of my love for books. I remember the joy I felt when I read the last line of The Deathly Hallows and closed the book, bringing an end to the world of magic and wonder, but a beginning to my growing desire to read: a quality that continues to be a large part of who I am.
Harry Potter was so much more than a book series for me; it was the key to unlocking alternative worlds of characters, battles, and adventures, enticing me to read just one more page. I have always felt that reading books puts the reader into a kind of time warp: one more page turns into a chapter, the chapter turns into half the novel, and by the time you look at the clock, it will be one in the morning and the book will be on its last page with you left wondering where the time went. That feeling of being completely immersed in a piece of text is what has led me to become such a voracious reader and has influenced my creative and imaginative state of mind. I have always viewed myself as a dreamer, often losing myself in my thoughts or drifting away into a world of imagination, and I can thank my long standing relationship with books for it, as my creativity is one of my favorite aspects about my personality.
Harry Potter may be a story filled with adventure and adversity, yet the main thing it taught me was to lift up my head from my books once in a while and realize that the world around me is just as enchanting and exhilarating as the ones in the stories I read. We do not realize that all the people we see on a daily basis are living their own story filled with protagonists, antagonists, climaxes, resolutions, and turning points that make up that specific individual. This realization served as an eye opening moment for me as I realized that the best stories have been hiding under my nose the entire time and not on the shelves of a library: the stories of the people around us.
Arya Biju is a incoming freshman at the University of Texas at Dallas and loves to read and write in her free time. She hopes to one day become a published author and gain more experience in writing and creating pieces. She currently lives in Frisco, Texas and hopes to travel the world one day.