Creative nonfiction

Saved by the wand #CBF16

Ever since I can remember, I have been a lover of stories. As a child, it was in the form of oral stories by my grandparents and parents. As I learnt to read, I devoured tales by Hans Christian Andersen and the Grimm brothers. In grade one, I bought my very first Enid Blyton book, Stories for you. I was hooked. Blyton took me on adventures to faraway lands, escapades with toys and brownies, goblins and golliwogs. She taught me how to solve mysteries and about friendships and boarding school. My nose was perpetually buried in a book, be it on the school bus or at a dinner party.

A love for reading morphed into a love to write. I penned poems and stories through school in my spare time. I kept most of my work secret but I continued to create characters I wanted to be. Strong girls, fighting the norm. Or poems of lands I wanted to visit. I yearned to become a writer thanks to my love of books.


As I commenced university with the goal of becoming a journalist, I took on English literature as a subject. Unfortunately at the time, psychology was more interesting that literature. As I pushed myself for two years with English lit, I found I lost my love for reading and writing. Freud was far more interesting than Dickens, psychopathology was more intriguing than Eliot. Perhaps it was the teaching style or maybe, the forced need to analyse every single sentence or word we read, but learning English literature completely put me off reading for pleasure.

The books on my shelves went untouched. The pages occasionally cried out to me but I didn’t offer a second glance. Reading frustrated me. The voices of lecturers burned through my brain leaving no room for words other than what was on the curriculum. Gone was imagination. Everything was about analysis and deeper meanings.

Towards the end of my second year, I was introduced to Harry Potter by a friend. ‘You might like it,’ she said. I was sceptical. I borrowed her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone. And just like that, it came back to me. I was drawn into a world different from my own. I met characters I befriended and others I loathed. I squirmed when I read about Voldermort. I longed for a wand of my own. I wondered which house I’d be in had I been at Hogwarts.

Within weeks, I sped through books two and three, the third being my favourite. I decided then, to buy the three books and the fourth whilst eagerly waiting the release of the fifth. Just like that, I was hooked again. I realised how much I’d missed reading. I’d missed being part of different worlds and making new friends. I missed crying and laughing with characters. I missed beautiful writing.

Till date, I deeply cherish my Harry Potter collection. I continue to thank Rowling for reigniting my love for reading. While my bookshelf sags with books to-be-read, it reassures me that my love for reading, and consequently writing, is well and truly alive.

(c) Sanch V @ Sanch Writes (31 July 2016) 


This has been written as part of the Cherished Blogfest 2016. Incidentally, it’s also Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling’s birthdays today. 

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  • Mithila Menezes @fabulus1710
    July 31, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    The Harry Potter series collection is truly something to cherish! And now you have the Cursed Child too! #JealousyGoals 😛

    The last line of your post is just magical. Every unread book, every book already loved, and every book yearned for just serves to keep us more and more hooked onto this amazing hobby called reading! 🙂

  • durba
    July 31, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I felt the same when I studied Eng Lit — that we were over analysing everything and interpreting the writing in ways the author may have never imagined! On top of that, I had always wanted to do Mass Comm, not Literature 😀 It’s great to be back to reading for pleasure!!

  • Paul
    July 31, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I too chose a book for my cherished object, so I can really relate to your post. It’s wonderful that the Harry Potter series (which was such a great read) reignited your love of reading. Nice post!

  • Dan Antion
    July 31, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    English literature truly grinds at the spirit of a reader. I’m not sayin gthat it isn’t important, but just once I wish a teacher had said: “read this book, enjoy it and then write a report about why you liked it, or about your favorite character, or…” or anything other than counting the number of times the author used alliteration vs. hyperbole. I am glad you returned to reading. All it takes is one author. For me, there were two. Rod Serling (Twilight Zone stories, early 1960s) and Kurt Vonnegut. Books I couldn’t put down and stories that remain in my memory.

    Thank you for joining the blogfest.
    Dan – cohost – #CBF16

  • Dan Antion
    July 31, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Adding this so I can follow…
    Dan Antion recently posted…One Man’s TrashMy Profile

  • Sulekha
    July 31, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Glad you got back to reading, life is much more bearable when there are books around to help us go through the ups and downs in life. My daughter loves the Harry Potter series, I have yet to read one 🙂

  • Parul Thakur
    July 31, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    I also began my reading journey with Enid Blyton. Loved those stories. However, I haven’t got my hands on Harry Potter. I know – sounds an old me but true. I feel I may not like it but I am intrigued. Maybe I will borrow from someone 🙂
    Good one, Sanch!
    Parul Thakur recently posted…Gratitude List – July 2016My Profile

  • Dashy
    August 1, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Harry Potter was one of my first novels, and I can honestly say that it crafted the interest in writing that I have today. I owe it all to Rowling, for opening the door to their amazing world to us. Needless to say, it is a cherished object to all potterheads. <3
    Dashy recently posted…What I cherish #CBF16My Profile

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren
    August 1, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    I remember eagerly waiting for the release of the fifth book… The Harry Potter books brought a lot of people into the magical world of reading. Philosopher’s Stone was one of the first English books I actually enjoyed reading – after that I searched for authors with similar writing styles, and as my language skills developed so did my taste in books. Thanks for sharing your cherished object and the memories connected to it.
    Ronel Janse van Vuuren recently posted…Cherished Lamps and Rotties #CBF16My Profile

  • Amelia
    August 2, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve decided that my Harry Potter books will go to my children or nephews/ nieces so they too are considered cherished objects. Thank you for writing about the Harry Potter books as part of the Cherished Blogfest!
    Amelia recently posted…#CBF16: Of Basketry and BabaiMy Profile

  • Cheryl
    August 3, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I am right there with you, an unofficial “potterhead”. My youngest son was still in upper grade school when the first book was published and since I am a rebel against what is popular with te masses, I refused to consider reading it. Then he recommended the book to me. By the tine I read it, the second book was out and we had planned to see the first movie together. That was the beginning of a Mother/son tradition that lasted throughout the duration of her publishing all the books and movies. Every release was around our birthday or Christmas and we made a point of seeing them together all the way through. We have yet to go to the Universal attraction but hope to someday. Agaian, a lot of money and hyoe keeps us away. Yet still….such a magical journey of hope, courage and understanding human nature. I love your cherished object for it is one of my own. Tha ks for joining the CBF! Cheryl, cohost.

  • Ruchira
    August 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Sometimes, too much of something makes you lose your interest in it ! I have seen a lot of lit students just not ready to read anything beyond the books prescribed in their course. I love Harry Potter too, and I think the books are so much better than the movies ! Don”t you !

  • Simon Falk
    August 4, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    What a vivacious post. Really enjoyed this. As a youngster, I too only shared a fraction of the poems and stories I wrote. I can identify with the love of reading (although I found Enid Blyton a bit girlie for my taste) and with uni lit studies that were at times analysis-paralysis. As for Harry Potter… I’d hop on Hogwart’s Express anytime.

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