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For an inveterate reader, every book read is like a secret love affair, one that is only between a book and its reader, that cannot be replicated.
Every reader is a Superman living in the mask of a Clark Kent. Their super power – a secret love affair since the day they opened a book. It went on from meeting up with a loyal friend to having heart to heart conversations with a lover willing to take you on a date when you feel like it.
It makes you steal moments from your busy day at work and tiring human interactions to listen to this lover passionately talk about war, revolution, strikes, jealousy, love… Only to come back energized, ready to take on the world.
Oh! The blush on my cheeks? One of the characters just said something very nice.
You yearn to go back home to shed the cloak of extroversion you have donned – for that is what it takes to make yourself heard.
You wish the world goodnight and settle with that book in bed, like cuddling with a forbidden lover who whispers into your ear everything about what happens next. He waits while you gasp, chuckle, shed a few tears; together, both of you paint a world so intimate – for only the union of that author and you could have brought that masterpiece to life.
When you read an author, you read the language of his soul (even after his death) – you get a peek into its depth, for words so powerful could not have been written half heartedly. Something probably only a few got to see during his time. This beautiful saga continues till your eyes feel heavy with the weight of slumber, until sleep takes you away as one of its own.
On your visit to the library or the bookstore, the authors wink and wave from their books on the stands. You approach them as you would an old friend, run your fingers slowly along their spines and whisper a gentle ‘hey there…’
For an introvert like me, books are a safe haven. They don’t expect me to open my soul, while they peel theirs down layer by layer. They don’t mind my awkwardness when I meet them the first time or the long, long time I take to break the ice.
So when my friends go on dates and fall in love with colleagues at work, I have breakfast with Scott Fitzgerald, lunch with Han Kang and dine with Khaled Hosseini.
You call this an awkward introvert’s sad life, I call it my secret love affair.
Published here earlier.
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