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A Bookish Journey




It’s no secret that I love to devour words as though they are my very life source, but I’ve realised that I don’t share much about what I love to read or why I love to read, or even why words are so important to me. So, on this world book day (admittedly, a little late, but we don’t shame each other in this space), I would like to take some time to go on a little journey into my bookish world together.

I really wanted to do this chronologically and tell you all about how I’ve been obsessed with books since early childhood and how I got into it, but the truth is, aside from a few core memories, I am really struggling to remember my childhood as of late. I can no longer differentiate between actual memories and those which have been curated through the stories of others, and so I refuse to tell any more stories of the things I liked or disliked as a child because honestly, I don’t even know if it’s the truth anymore. But, I digress.

If there’s one consistent memory I have of books as a child, it’s reading The Paper Bag Princess religiously. On the good days and the bad, I reached out for my comfort book and read it cover to cover until my little brain pleaded with me to change it up a bit and read something new. But, my goodness, that book changed me. And if I think about it now as an adult, it underpins so much of who I am, who I was, and the choices I continue to make to grow into who I will be. At the crux of it, the story of the prince, the princess, and a pretty grim dragon is flipped on its head. No longer is the princess locked in the tallest tower of the tallest castle with a fire breathing dragon guarding the door, instead we have a kidnapped (dragon-napped??) prince who is saved by a relentless princess who foregoes all her riches to bring him to safety.

From that moment on, I knew that I’d never be the same again. Because how could I possibly convince myself that I could allow anyone to save me from the dragons in life, when this princess had just shown me that I could very well outsmart the dragon by virtue of my intelligence alone and save all that I needed to save? I was a goner.

And sure, I love to read romance now and can confidently say that I’m an absolute sucker for a happy ending, but each and every single one of the books I read intentionally have a female lead who is absolutely kickass or has the smartest mouth I’ve ever seen (read), and frankly, takes absolutely no nonsense from anyone. Because that’s what The Paper Bag Princess did for me. That’s what Robert Munsch did for me, he created a world that doesn’t expect submission in love. He created a world that uses honesty, commitment, perseverance, and a whole lot of brain cells to reach a happy ending that honours every party involved (and dishonours those that aren’t deserving). Munsch gifted me the ability to see a world that could be mine if I chose to live in that way, and I truly hope that in all that I do and all that I am, I honour this gift.

While this post didn’t entirely go in the direction that I intended, I feel like I’ve ended up with something far greater than I could have anticipated and I am happier for it. It’s not everyday we get to take a trip down memory lane and truly understand the depths of which the little things in our childhood have had a lasting impact, and it’s just nice. It’s nice to have fond memories to look back on, especially in the form of comfort reads.

Perhaps this was the push I needed to return to this beloved blog. Because I cannot wait to write about more of the books I read in my childhood that I am utterly obsessed with even as an adult.

So, here’s to more posts, but more importantly, here’s to more books. May they continue to be the source of comfort we seek when we need another world outside of our own to lose ourselves in.

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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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