where the writers are
love of books

My love of books and reading has been with me since early childhood; I remember that I used to finish reading the books of the syllabus before even the school year began. Father had always cared, fortunately, to provide us with the necessary books, copybooks and all things needed for a pupil who would begin a new school year during the summer vacations. I used to go straightly to the books of Arabic, which included thematic chapters with excerpts from novels and short stories or poetry in each chapter. I used to spend hours reading and rereading the texts for pleasure, and I'd realized then that my love for literature especially was immeasurable.

When I chose to study English in the faculty, it was clear that my attention would shift to English literature, and here, my discovery of the exquisite pleasure of browsing bookstores for the search of books has replenished my involvement in the sweet world of words, stories, characters, and plots. Paradoxically, I did n't quite care for having editions of the books on the syllabus at that time; for we had the opportunity, I and my classmates to get copies in any copyshop near oyr faculty. My passion was rather directed towards the books that were not on the syllabus. I was very curious to read the books that previous students had or that some of our teachers alluded to in class. But I also let my intuition guide me to buy books that seemed to me interesting.

Father used to give me monthly a sum of money to afford for my studying expenses; I used to stay at a students' hostel, so, I needed the money to pay only for daily expenses including photocopying, food, phone calls, transport etc. I spent most of money on books, I would go to one specefic bookstore in the city's centre, take my time to browse some oeuvres, to smell that sweet scent of pages, to satiate my sight with bright covers; then, I would foster my interest on 'Penguin Classics', for at that time, I was very much lured by classic novels, select two or three titles, then go back to the hostel happy and excited, anticipating the pleasure and satisfaction I'll get through and after reading them.

Afetr I finish reading the novels I bought, I would check the last pages of the novel to look at the list of books that I've'nt read yet, i would tick those I intend to buy and read and then count them; feeling just impatient to get the money needed so that I might go back to that small bookstore and come back with colorful pieces of different worlds; distant, visionary, but inticing.

Today, my love of books and reading is still the same, though am more inclined now towards modern and contemporary literature; 'Penguin Classics' is still cherished; but because I rarely find the books I'd like to read here in Tunisia, I just ask some friends to provide me with some titles from abroad. bBut visiting bookstores remains singular. There's one near my home here; I go there from time to time to buy pens or copyboks for my little son, and everytime I go there, I spend some time looking at books and bookcovers, reading French and Arabic titles and saying inside: 'I wish I had them all'; now the young woman in charge there got used to me and no longer asks questions!

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