Photography and Words Ruqaiyah K. (ruqkishreads).
My journey as a bookstagrammer; people who use Instagram as a platform to post and talk about books, has been life changing. And I’m not exaggerating. This journey has truly given me such a strong sense of who I am as a reader and a writer, it has not only given me an opportunity to come in contact with publishers and authors but also meet plenty of diverse people to share my reading experiences with. It has allowed me to expand the genres I read; it is simply for the sake of reviewing that I’ve picked up books and authors that I otherwise wouldn’t have. But though I’ve started bookstagramming only recently, books and I go back a long way.
I was two years old when my mother read me my first book. It was called The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
As a child I enjoyed listening to that story so much, I almost had it memorized. Even at an age when I couldn’t distinguish A from B, I was fascinated by an imagined world where a goat could talk.
I would always listen with rapt attention every time my mother read to me; tales of magical faraway lands, elves, dwarfs, everything that made me strongly believe that anything is possible. And it is because I was so regularly surrounded by books that I learnt to read much earlier than my fellow classmates. Right after I learnt to read by myself, my mother took me to a library; little did I know it would become my second home for the next sixteen years.
I’ve noticed that because a lot of books are being made into movies these days, many people are of the impression that watching the movie is equal to reading the book it is based on. And I keep repeatedly telling people that it’s not. While reading a book, we create our own world. This process alone makes our brain come alive. It is believed that reading for pleasure increases blood flow to different areas of the brain, which literally just means that reading serves as a work out for your brain. It’s crazy how much we do for our physical fitness, going to the gym, practicing yoga and what not. Why do we never wonder if we’re doing anything for our brains?
A lot of people often tell me that they don’t read because they cannot concentrate for long, that their mind gets diverted while they’re reading. And I believe that happens because they’re picking books under someone else’s influence and not what really appeals to them. Even an avid reader like me suffers, if I pick up a book that is not of my preferred genre. I get bored and have trouble concentrating. But that doesn’t mean I can’t read books, it just means I won’t enjoy reading a specific book and I need to pick something else. Don’t let a few books decide if you enjoy reading or not. Like they say, there are only two kinds of people in this world: people that love reading and people that haven’t found the right book yet.
Find her on Instagram @ruqkishreads