Monday, March 16, 2015

Post 2: My First Romance.

This is the story of my first book romance.
When I was about 6 (yes, the best romance starts from a young age) I remember I used to look at covers of books at my parent’s book shelves around the house. There were so many books I was never out of book covers to look at, to study, to wonder what kind of stories lie beyond those covers. I hadn’t started reading at the time.
Some covers were black and white photos of famous people, others were drawings of what I expect the book would have been about. One book in particular grabbed my attention with its cover of a drawing of a woman sitting. I used to like to look at it a lot.
A year or two after, I started to learn to read, and part of my adventures in reading -other than reading shop fronts and business cards out loud- was to read the book covers I’d previously been studying like mysterious artefacts; The 7 Pillars of Wisdom- the life of Lawrence of Arabia, Between the two palaces- Naguib Mahfouz, The Interpretation of the Jalalayn.
And the book with the most enchanting woman on the cover? It was titled “Cinderella”
Now I was no fool, I’d heard the story of Cinderella by then a thousand times, and I knew it was not a novel, so until I was able to read at a higher level, this was a question I was asking myself whenever my eyes fell on this cover, is this the [real] story of Cinderella? Is there more to the fairy-tale? I decided to try and read the first line of the book, maybe to get an insight into what the book was about?
The first line went “Damn it! Said the queen”
Well that didn’t help much! It still feels like a Cinderella story!
Months come and go, I develop a higher reading level, I get hooked on to young detective stories, but because they were not always available, I used to trawl the streets of Baghdad looking for big and small bookshops looking for new books to read. Once I was nearly kidnapped coz I went to a particularly seedy part of town.
My reading speed increased, I was buying 2 books a day, a finishing them by the time I got home, I need to kick up my reading game, I started reading more “mature” books, I discovered the magic of the most read-and sold author in the world, Agatha Christie.
Oh she was amazing, her books were lengthy and they had a solid plot, and a confusing array of characters, the protagonists were smart, sharp, and knew just when to strike, especially the little Belgian detective, M. Hercules Poirot. I loved reading his stories most of all.
Years later, I was about 11 or 12 at the time, I realized I’d forgotten about Cinderella. I can definitely read her now, and I went to the same bookshelf and found the book with the cover of that majestic woman on it, waiting for me for the last 5 years. The title was “Cinderella”.
The Author? Agatha Christie

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