Name a kid, who doesn't love comics? That's how I started my first Bible. It was a picture bible, with pictures and dialogues in comics style. I loved that Bible, read it from cover to cover. Even now, the images or visuals of many of the characters or stories in my mind, are those from that Bible.Dad was working on a picture bible for tribals, without any language so he had collected lot of picture bible for his drawing reference. So my next bible was a LARGE Children's Bible. That was the age, when my favorite books were Hardy boys, Nancy Drew and Enid Blytons. The children bible fonts were huge just like the story books, that I read them like a story! ( I was probably 9 or 10 )
Looking at the way, I was reading the Bible, my mom and dad gave me a Gideon's Bible to read. I found it very hard to understand. The language, the font, the format were all so different from the Bible I loved. To make it worse I dint understand a thing. So my mom told me to read the Tamil bible parallely.
It was this time, that I made a friend with a book lover. We exchanged Hardy boys, Nancy Drew. She was a voracious reader. She would finish the book in an hour, whereas I would take 3 hours. We decided to read the bible togethar, and boy oh boy it was fun. We finished completely in English ( KJV) and Tamil, again and again may be 10 or more times, that we lost count. To tell the truth I don't think, if I really understood the meaning, I read it like a story book. Enjoyed the History books; gospels, dragged through the prophets, skim read the epistles perhaps. But it was fun to read togethar. Many words in both Tamil and English bounced off my head, but I just wanted to finish reading the whole bible, from beginning to end.
Then dad bought me a study Bible and my brother a Student's bible. I loved it at first sight. There was no columns like a traditional bible, the font was big. Moreover the language was very simple- the story book kind. I understood the meaning, I enjoyed reading it, I underlined,took notes. I woke up at 4 everyday, and spent time with God. I was young, probably 12-14, and that's when I started having a personal relationship with God, and learnt the power of the cross, about HolySpirit, about God's love. During family prayer, me and brother asked a lot of questions to dad. What this means, why so, how did it happen. Hearing and then reading from the Bible, was an amazing feeling. I then moved on to a 1 year bible, and then I often got back to my big old study bible. It is so bulgy, and old, with lines all over the pages! But I love it! Its been more than 10-15 years since I used it, but still get back to it to find some verses, coz I know which page, which side, and what color pen i had used to underline a particular verse! My favorite verse was Gal 6:14 and my favorite book was James!
My friend introduced me to Philip Yancey's book. Oh, how I loved them. By then, my mom had restricted me from reading all novels ( it was school exam time) So I stuck to only Bible and a little of Christian books. In college, my craze was on John Grisham's book, but when I realised my QT was reducing, I decided to stop reading all novels until I bring my QT steady. The same rule applied for any spiritual book. So these days, only when my QT is full and overflowing, I read any other Christian books/magazines! Works well for me!