‘Mama, books are boring!’ My daughter announced one day when she was in third grade. Her statement flabbergasted me. After all, since my little girl was a few months old, I had been reading to her. Even before she learned how to walk, she enjoyed a tall stack of books that we would read together every single day.

When my husband and I decided to leave our Long Island suburbs for the bustling city of Karachi, where both he and I grew up, our daughter was only two-and-a-half and our son was just fifteen months younger. Although I had to give away many of their bulky toys, I made sure I packed as many books as possible – knowing very well that easy access to public libraries was a privilege I was about to lose.

Yet, in Pakistan, I soon discovered busy book fairs and random bookstores with reasonably priced tomes that I kept adding to our collection. And so our reading journey continued. Living in a bilingual world, of Urdu and English, meant that we would read books in both languages. When we sat with our books, my kids didn’t care about their toys or television. They simply loved delving into the stories and worlds the pages opened up to us.

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