They say that intoxication is dangerous because of the addiction, rather than the effect. Experience the high once, lose yourself to euphoria, and you will come back for more. You will return again and again, and keep on coming back, because it is never enough. How could it be? How could you ever get enough of that rush- that escape from reality? How could you ever get enough of the freedom, the power, the magic?

Eden. Inferno. Salvation. Damnation. All rolled into one.

Now, before you get any ideas, I do not support alcoholism or drug abuse. This is intoxication of a different kind.

There is an undeniable allure; one that I am powerless against. The scent of paper and ink, and the crackle of pages turned for the first time. The softness of leather-bound spines, and the richness of glossy jackets. Give me the key to the library and leave me in peace. Let me make new friends and fall in love. Let me reacquaint myself with long-lost friends and old lovers. Let me mourn the departed friends and lost loves. But most of all, let me rediscover bliss with my soulmates- those who are ingrained within me and have never left my side.

Books have been my escape from myself, as well as mirrors into my soul. I have found solace in their pages and acceptance within their words. My imagination has unfurled within them, wonders coming to life by the magic of words. I have seen, heard, smelt, tasted, touched, and sensed; all through the intricate spell woven by them. Paradoxical it may be, but no words are enough to fully capture the power of words.

I am a girl. I am a boy. I am a man. I am a woman. I am alive and I have been dead. I have possessed bodies and taken over the senses. I have dissected minds and analysed personalities. I have travelled the world, hopped dimensions, and, walked through time. I have worlds at my fingertips and dimensions within arm's reach. I have lived through aeons and seen myths unfold. I am a dreamer, a thinker, a sorcerer, an alchemist, a wizard, a witch, a spy, a ruler, a warrior, a slave, a nymph, an elf, a traveller, a healer, an assassin, a scientist, a detective, a thief, a mastermind, a villain, a hero, a God, a Titan, and so much more.

I have seen the Eiffel Tower with Arsene Lupin, and walked along Baker Street with Holmes and Watson. I have evaded the LEP with Artemis and Butler, defended Camp Half Blood against Kronos' assault, and thwarted Gaia. I have seen Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo stumble her way through teenage drama to the Genovian throne. I have duelled Death Eaters in the Great Hall, and thrown myself down rabbit-holes and through looking-glasses with Alice. I have climbed down the seven levels of Hell and watched both the Angelic War and the loss of Paradise. I have bantered with Elizabeth Bennett and tried to understand the nuances of An Imperial Affliction with Hazel and Gus. I have faced down the Capitol and warred with the Erudite-Dauntless alliance. I have been Awakened with Sophie and Josh, and have risen, Red as the Dawn. I have followed Robert Langdon into a world of history and symbolism, and have witnessed the rise of the Neelkanth. I have been the ExtraOrdinary Wizard Apprentice, the seventh son of a seventh son. I have learned the art of hypnotism with Molly and Rocky. I have traversed both Westeros and Middle Earth. I have discovered the secrets of the Chronograph, and flown over Alagaesia as a Dragon Rider. I have scampered through the corridors of Whyteleafe, St Clare's and Malory Towers. I have attended meetings of the Secret Seven, and outwitted Mr Goon with the Five Find-Outers. I have climbed the Faraway Tree and hung onto the Enchanted Chair. I have seen Amelia Jane being naughty, and Mr Pink-Whistle being nice. I have driven through Toy Town with Noddy and ambled through Malgudi as I pleased. I have lived through the horrors of middle school with Greg, and juggled high school and modelling with Em, or should I say Nikki? I have fought Valentine as a Shadowhunter, and clawed my way through the Brimstone Bleed with Tella. I have seen the light within Elphaba and the darkness within Hannibal. I have breathed the fresh air of the Orient, and seen the miasma of its darker side, with Mineko, Sayuri, Lily and Snow Flower.

I have lived so many lifetimes within mine own that they have now melded together to create one harmonious melody that thrums within my veins. I have seen through the eyes of those I read about, and spoken the words falling from their lips. I have lived in them and learned with them. I have imbibed their experience and earned their knowledge. Whoever said books are fictional couldn't be more wrong. The world may be fictional, the magic may not exist, the apocalypse may not yet be upon us; but the characters are real. They are as human as any of us, and their thoughts and actions are but a reflection of our own.

With that said, whenever I have blown someone off for a book, saying that I was busy, or had another appointment, it was no lie. I told you the truth, you just couldn't perceive it. After all, it can't get more obvious than "I'm booked."

As for all those who belong to the sect of "e-books and electronic readers", I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you will never know the sensuous pleasure of a true book, and how it assails four of your five senses. I am sorry that you will never discover the magic of books in the truest sense. I do not wish to call you heathens, but there is one point I must impress upon you.

"Books have souls. Pieces of metal do not."

The ball is now in your court.

A.N. Happy World Book Day, fellow readers!

It's pretty obvious, this was a tribute to books, and all that they mean to me. I hope there are others out there who read this and perhaps find some of their sentiments echoed. If yes, then my work here is done. I hope you like this piece, because this one is special for me. Let me know what you think in the reviews, or PM me.

I'd love to know if you recognised all the books that are mentioned/referenced! Drop a review or PM, and also mention some of your favourite books. I'm always open to recommendations and suggestions!