A Reader's Story

My appreciation for reading is not love at first sight.

At age of five when I still didn't know how to read I loved browsing through comics and enjoyed the story in pictures. The sequential form of art in its basic function allowed me to understand the stories and also helped me to imagine further adventures of my own version. I remember me and my friend creating a comic book as my friend took charge of the artwork chores and me, for the story. Watching Indiana Jones, Goonies, and Amazing Stories by Steven Spielberg helped a lot, but not yet reading.

When I entered the stage of formal learning and academics (from elementary to high school, until college) I was still skeptic about the "beauty" of this written form of art. History and Literature are just domains where you write papers, take exams and pass the subjects so that you can move on with more interesting subjects like Earth Science or Math. Thats how I used to see it. My high school Math teacher would tell the class how he loved the novels of Stephen King but I thought he was just trying to act "weird." Whenever we saw a schoolmate carrying a thick novel we tease her and say that if a doctor attempts to break her head open, loads of letters will literally burst out of her head.

Image courtesy of Noa Vichanski
Later in my teenage years I enjoyed a lot of Sci Fi and Fantasy movies and learned that these ultra cool stories were originally crafted in the written form of art, if not in the form of graphic novels, or manga. That's when I started to think again about novels. I thought I should give these novels respect the way I respected my comic books! Aside from looking for non fiction books by Hawking, Covey, and Galbraith, I also tried to look for action laden novels by Clancy and Le Carre, the controversial novel by Golding, a grim novel by Dostoevsky, and return to nature novels by Jack London. Those books are still tiny compared to my collection of comic books but the numbers began to rise during my final year in College when I got tired of academic textbooks. It was also this time when I discovered that reading a book in between studies actually helps in developing your focus, your concentration. For some, reading a novel may be distracting from formal studies but in my experience, it's the other way around.

Those were the days when I began to realize that a book is a very good and loyal friend---it doesn't leave you, and gives you pleasure in return. Some books let you down, but only to teach you a very important lesson. Books are not judgmental, and they always leave to you the final verdict, the benefit of the doubt. Even if books don't talk, they are good companions. These made me think that sometimes, books are better than people. 

Now that I'm old and traveling is part of my work (not counting out that my homebase is 5 cities away from my office), the time is always there to open a book and escape reality for a while. And even if boredom attacks me in an uncompromising situation (whether it's on top of a construction tower, or inside the freezing office) I just recall the latest adventure read to reclaim that energy for work and finish the rest of the day.

And the adventure continues...

this piece is a response for filipino reader con meme week 2


  1. I liked what you said about books being loyal friends. That's been true for me as well. :)

  2. Yay for sci fi and fantasy! I loved math and science when I was in grade school too but got fed up with both in high school.

    Yep, have to agree with you and Ron. Books are really good friends and sometimes, they're better than people. :P I'm pretty sure I would be a very lonely person if I wasn't so fond of reading.

    PS: Got distracted by the fishes in your sidebar. :P

  3. Hi Chachic!
    Koi fishes are fun and they're here to distract... =P


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