15 Books That Helped Me Shape into The Person I Am
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15 Books That Helped Me Shape into The Person I Am

Fiction reveals the truth that reality obscures.

15 Books That Helped Me Shape into The Person I Am

A lot of us love reading books because they help us live a life we wish we had. Sometimes, these books not only fulfill our deepest desire but also teach us something new and we are changed forever.

I started reading at an early age, somewhere when I was around 5-6 years old. But, that is not when my love for books actually materialized. It was much later and out of the numerous books that I have read in my 24 years of life, these 15 book series have stayed with me after all this time.

Some of these you might already be familiar with and some of these might be completely new to you. I hope these books rekindle your childhood memories too and make you pick up a book again.

1. Secret Seven Series, Enid Blyton

I think Enid Blyton is by default the first author whose books we all tend to read which is why I was no different. When I was just 10 years old, I started reading the entire Secret Seven series and it had me completely hooked. I would read about their numerous adventures and crave to be a part of them and that's the first time I started imagining.

Secret Seven series was the first series to help me imagine my own adventures and I will always be grateful for it.

2. St. Claire's Series, Enid Blyton

When I was 12 years old, I was slightly into books but I still indulged a lot of my time in watching T.V or playing video games. I didn't get hooked on the books yet. Apart from an occasional novel or comic book, I never even touched a story, but all that changed when I got introduced to the St. Claire's series.

St. Claire's was the first book which showed me all the wonders of a hostel life and I loved every moment of it. That was the time I seriously started loving books and also craved for a hostel life of my own.

3. Harry Potter Series, J.K Rowling

Then came the Harry Potter series. This is the series that I owe the most to because apart from showing me about love, friendship, and bravery, it also helped me in overcoming depression. At the time of my life when I started reading Harry Potter, I wasn't in a good phase and was facing a lot of problems at home and school.

Harry Potter helped me escape my depressing reality and gave me a chance to be happy again. It taught me so much that I am still grateful for. Apart from helping me turn into a compassionate and empathic person, it also helped me understand that prejudice and discrimination are completely wrong and something that I shouldn't ever divulge in and this is one lesson which I have carried on with me so far.

4. Twilight Saga, Stephanie Meyer

Another series which really helped in shaping me is the Twilight Saga. Yes, yes, you all can make fun of me but for better or for worse, once upon a time I really enjoyed it. However, what I realized from this series is that sometimes your notion of a character can be extremely stupid. No, guys don't avoid you if they like you and no, you don't have to be so stupid as Bella to make a mess out of every situation.

What Twilight taught me is that it is okay to believe in something for a while but what is important is to change your beliefs when you realize something is off about them. It taught me that even if you had loved something at a point in time, it is okay to grow up and not love it anymore.

5. The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S Lewis

Another important series in my life which helped me in growing my imagination and creativity is The Chronicles of Narnia. This set of 7 books taught me about hardship, trust, loyalty, honesty, and most of all, faith and belief. It taught me that sometimes all you need is to believe in yourself for your dreams to come true.

It taught me that honesty is your biggest virtue and greed will only turn into your downfall. But, most of all it taught me that everyone grows up in the end but that doesn't have to mean an end to your imagination too. You can keep it alive, even after being an adult. All you have to do is just believe.

6. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Another fictional series which had a deep impact on me was The Hunger Games. I was already in college when I started reading this series and was immediately hooked to the storyline. What I learned from this story is more valuable than anything that I could have learned in my life.

It was that even if you don't notice others, it doesn't mean you are invisible too. Also, survival is a skill and not everyone can learn it. Help people and don't turn your back on them, this is what I learned from this book. Katniss' journey throughout the series touched me and a lot of lines got stuck in my head because they struck a bell.

You don't forget the face of the person who was your last hope. Yes, it still gives me chills after all this time.

7. If I Stay Series, Gayle Forman

Another important series in my life which helped me learn something really crucial is If I Stay. This tragic book taught me that sometimes choosing the right path is hard, that sometimes all you want to do is be selfish and erase your own pain. But that is wrong, you can't run from your pain. The right thing to do is to face it and take help wherever needed.

This book series taught me that sometimes when your life turns upside down, you will retreat into yourself and mess up the rest of your life too. You will distance yourself from everyone who cares about you but that's not the right way. You have to give others a chance to help you heal because at the end, the only way to come out of a life tragedy is with the help of your loved ones.

8. Thirteen Reasons Why, Jay Asher

I had read this book long before it got turned into a T.V show and gained so much popularity. This book has always been close to my heart because this novel taught me that it is important to be nice to others. Sometimes, your silliest joke could end up hurting someone and could turn into something more graver than you expected.

This book taught me that no matter what happens, never hurt someone, intentionally or unintentionally and just listen to people. Sometimes, all anyone wants is to be heard, without any judgment or presumptions.

9. The Summer I Turned Pretty Series, Jenny Han

Another book series which has been close to my heart is The Summer I Turned Pretty. In this book, I first realized how it feels to fall in love with a character and then experience all the things that your protagonist is feeling. I blushed, got embarrassed, shouted at the characters in my head and basically, lived the story in my head.

I realized that if you have ever read a book without falling in love with a character then you have truly missed out on one of the most beautiful feeling ever. But mostly, I understood that some people or characters will always have a part of your heart even if it has been years since you met them again.

10. The Princess Diaries Series, Meg Cabot

This one is a little embarrassing but once upon a time, I was obsessed with this series. Every girl in her teenager dreams to be princess which is exactly why I absolutely adored this series but it was not all bullshit, it did impart some wise lessons which I still carry with me.

Firstly, a geeky nice guy is always a better choice than a handsome jock (just kidding!). No, this is not what I learned from this book. What I actually learned was that each of us has a dysfunctional family which we love and support but sometimes we can get really angry or annoyed at them. Sometimes, you will fight with your best friends for the most idiotic reasons. Sometimes, you could end up losing the love of your life due to unforeseeable circumstances.

But life doesn't end here. You will make up with your family and friends, you will move on. In the end, you will grow up and it will all be okay.

11. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

One of the most esteemed classics of all time, The Catcher in the Rye taught me that it is okay to not behave like a sheep in a flock. It is okay to have your opinion and not like a book which is praised to be one of the best novels around the world.

The truth is that I started this book twice and both times got disinterested which is why I left it in the middle. It took me almost a month to actually complete this book and by the end of it, I just asked myself 'Why did I even bother with it?'

Yes, that was my experience with it. I didn't like a classic but the world didn't end. I realized that just because a group of people thought it to be a classic doesn't mean that I have to like it. It is okay to not like something which others like, it is okay to not be a sheep.

12. Just One Day Series, Gayle Forman

This is the book that taught me that getting over someone doesn't mean falling for someone new. It doesn't mean that a knight in shining armor will come to rescue you from all your pain and worries. It means that you will have to take up the tape or glue and fix your own damn heart.

This book taught me that love can be fleeting and can leave behind a lot of pain and destruction in its wake but that is not the end of the world. You can mend yourself again and be happy again. All you have to do is try and believe in yourself and you will certainly fall in love again. This time, with yourself.

13. 13 Little Blue Envelopes Series, Maureen Johnson

The first time I fell in love with a place was through 13 Little Blue Envelopes. With the help of this book, I dreamt about cycling through Amsterdam, roaming around in Rome and London, and chilling on the beaches of Greece. This book made me want to see all the places in this world and to have my own little adventures.

Whatever thirst I have for traveling currently, it was fueled by this book and I would remain ever so grateful for it. I love traveling, meeting new people and learning their stories and it all started due to this simple book.

14. The Innocent Man, John Grisham

Before this book, I had never read a non-fiction or any book on crime before. I wasn't remotely interested in that genre but once I read this book, I couldn't stop. I learned so much about the judiciary and crime system (of course, I am no pro at it!) and how the world works. I realized that sometimes innocent people can suffer for crimes they didn't commit and that sometimes criminals can go free very easily.

I learned that life isn't fair and good doesn't always win. I learned that real life is actually complicated and all the rules in the world don't guarantee a fair or just trial. So, all you can do is try and hope for the best because sometimes, you can just turn out to be plain unlucky.

15. Asura: Tale of the Vanquished, Anand Neelakantan

With the help of this novel, I understood that not everything is black and white. Each story has more than one side where everyone is the main character. You can never judge people by listening to just one side of the story because no one has all the facts with them.

So, it is always better to keep an open mind and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Because, if you don't, then you might miss out on the most important lesson of the story.

All these books helped in shaping me and my ideals and I am so glad that I got a chance to read them because if I didn't, then I wouldn't have turned out to be the person I am meant to be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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