o It’s taken a while, but I finally decided to draw a tribute to all the books and characters that have shaped me over the years. Because I sincerely believe they did.
Everything that one reads leaves a mark, for better or for worse. Some horrible words I’ve read still haunt me, just as some uplifting ones continue to inspire me. In the middle of some mediocre, otherwise unenjoyable book may lie a sentence that will change the way I see the world around me forever.
I read so much as a child, basically indiscriminately, and that, more than anything I learnt in a classroom, formed my education.
Books taught me heroism and cowardice. They taught me what it means to suffer greatly, before tragedy had the chance to strike my own life. Novels taught me what adventure is, and what mercy looks like. They showed me what it looks like to fail, and what it looks like to succeed.
Not all the lessons were good. Some of them, perhaps, should not have been learnt. Some desires should not be planted, some dreams ought to remain unfulfilled. And so, I don’t know if the books I’ve devoured have shaped me for the better or for the worse. But they have shaped me. Permanently, irrevocably.
In the words of the Wicked song “For good”:
“I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but I do believe I have been changed for good.”
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