Filipino Friday: Why I Read

Filipino Friday is a weekly meme borrowed from Filipino Book Bloggers and currently hosted by the Filipino Reader Conference. It encourages all Filipino readers to interact and get to know each other. Regular blog followers, hope you enjoy reading my Filipino Friday posts! This week’s topic: the hows and whys of reading – how did you get started on reading and why do you read?

We all crave stories. Stories nourish our minds (and our souls) just like we need food for our bodies. As we grow older, we find different ways of getting stories – some people get their fix by watching movies or TV shows, some through books and others through gossip (Yes, I believe those are counted! They’re real life stories). I don’t know why reading has always been my preference. I guess my parents instilled the love for the written world early on. Whenever I look back on my childhood, it feels like books have always been present in my life. I had a favorite book, The Enormous Turnip, even before I can properly pronounce the title. Loved the Batibot books that they published back then as well as the Dr. Seuss books that my brother and I shared. That continued all throughout my school years. I devoured the fiction books available in our school library, read books that my parents were willing to purchase for me, borrowed books from friends and read the Sweet Valley and Babysitters Club books passed on by my cousins from the States through balikbayan boxes. I remember when my aunt, my mom’s cousin, found out that I loved to read and that I just read whatever was available around the house, she told my mom to buy Newbery-awarded books for me. I even consumed the books that were required reading all throughout my years in high school and college. When I started working, I went crazy with the book buying because yay, I had money to buy books. Also, no more homework so lots of free time to read! That was also when I discovered book blogs and online communities.

Image from Tumblr

I am fond of quoting a C.S. Lewis line here on the blog, “We read to know that we are not alone.” Although I heard from someone that it’s not actually a direct quote, I still think it perfectly describes my reasons for picking up the books that I read. I’m constantly on the lookout for books that can make me exclaim, “THIS is why I read!” because those are the ones that end up on my list of favorites. Those are the books that I could relate to, the ones where I’m totally invested in the characters to the point that they seem like real people to me and those are also the books that can make me laugh or cry depending on the scene portrayed. When I say I can relate to the book, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ve experienced something similar to what the characters are going through, it’s when the book awakens emotions and can really make me feel. I really don’t think I’m much of a writer and when an author writes about some of the things that I think about but can’t even articulate, that’s when I fall in love with the book. Those are the books that stay with me days or even weeks after I finish reading them, they’re the ones that make me have a “book hangover.”

Okay, I admit that I only encounter a handful of amazing books in any given year so I’d also like to say that I read for fun. It entertains and relaxes me to read. I bring books with me whenever I go out of town because downtime = reading time. I can read while traveling on plane or while waiting in line for something. My favorite reading location? The beautiful beaches in the Philippines. Sun, sand, a good book and a cold drink is my idea of a perfect vacation. Like I said, we all have different ways of being entertained and I’d like to think of myself as a simple gal – I enjoy eating (preferably while catching up with good friends), sleeping and reading.

So, so, so. That’s how I became a reader and those are my reasons for reading, what are yours?

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24 thoughts on “Filipino Friday: Why I Read

  1. That was a lovely entry, Chachic. I owe a lot to Newbery classics too; I think a lot of readers from our generation were well acquainted with them. I love how you describe some books as responsible for giving you a ‘book hangover’ — that’s the best kind of hangover! πŸ˜›

    • I remember collecting all of the Newbery books available in National when I was younger. Only to discover later on that some of them were part of a series (like Megan Whalen Turner’s The Thief, some of the Prydain Chronicles and Dark is Rising books). I had fun collecting all the books in those series once I started working.

      Books are really capable of giving us readers hangovers! But I have to agree with you, it’s the best kind of hangover. At least you don’t feel sick and woozy the next day. πŸ˜›

    • I used to be more OC about my books but now I’m like you, I think scratches and spine creases add character to my books. πŸ™‚ Although I only do that with my own books, not with borrowed copies. And I still get a little miffed when someone else damages my own copies. But yes, love beach reading. I have pictures to prove it.

  2. My favorite reading location is anywhere but in bed. I find that I always end up sleeping through the book even if it’s all scary or bloody. What can I say, I like to sleep!

    It’s been a while since I’ve had my last “book hangover” (you coined that?). I think it was after Mockingjay last year.

    And yay for C.S. Lewis quotes! (and misquotes!)

    • Seriously? I love reading in bed! It’s where I get most of my reading done. I think I’m the other way around, I tend to stay up later than usual when I’m in the middle of the good book because I can’t stop reading.

      Yep, came up with book hangover because I thought it’s the perfect term for that situation.

      Yay for book-related quotes in general! πŸ™‚

  3. I tried reading during a beach trip. The book: Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. Thank goodness I read it during a beach trip, because if it’s during some halloween vacation… *shudder*

    • I think I tend to read light and fun books during beach trips in keeping with the relaxed atmosphere of the location. πŸ™‚ There are exceptions, of course. Like if I’m reading an unputdownable book, I’ll probably bring that with me wherever I go.

  4. I totally get what you mean when you say books you can relate to. I find that my favorite books are those that can really make me feel – ones that can make me cry, or laugh, or both.:) I’m not much of a writer myself, so I am always amazed at how authors can put together words that say exactly what I feel.

    Do you still have some of your old books?

    • Those are the best books. πŸ™‚ They’re the ones that stay with me even after I’m done reading them, proof is how I can write reviews for old favorites even if I haven’t reread them.

      I still have some of my Newbery books even though they’re really old, battered and the pages have turned yellow. They’re in another bookshelf in the house, not the big black one in my room.

  5. Ayn Rand said that the sole purpose of reading SHOULD be entertainment. The reading experience varies if a person reads because of something (research, requirements, et al).

    I haven’t tried reading on the beach though, mainly because I am not a beach person. And I don’t think I could read on the beach anyway because I am easily distracted. Even my own thoughts distract me from my book. πŸ˜€

    • *nods head* So maybe it’s a still a good thing I didn’t major in literature in college? I might have gotten burned out with reading if I did that. It’s different as a hobby because I get to choose the books that I read and I stick to the genres that I like.

      Aww you don’t like beaches? I love them. I don’t get to go as often as I’d like, maybe just once or twice in a year but I always try to get some reading done whenever I go. LOL it’s funny that your own thoughts distract you from reading. What do you think about that’s so distracting?

      • I don’t like beaches mainly because I cannot swim, hahaha. I love the view though, and frolicking at that edge where the waves crash and the sea foam dissolves.

        Plotting the plot, imagining the scenes too much, counter-philosophizing, and over-brooding are some of the distracting thoughts. And sometimes judging whether or not I am reading way after my eating or sleeping time.

      • I’m not a great swimmer either! I can only do the dog paddle. LOL that’s the great thing about beaches, you don’t have to be a good swimmer to enjoy the place. No need to actually swim, you can just tampisaw or submerge yourself in water when the sun gets too hot.

  6. I don’t really have a favorite reading location, mainly because it’s usually the book that makes the location memorable for me. If the book ends up something I dislike, or worse, something that bores me, then the location where i’m reading it sort of gets some flak. Like it had anything to do with how the book was written.. XD

    • Oh wow, Ron, you really get affected by the books that you read! When I look back on my beach reading pictures, I can’t even remember the book that I’m holding unless the cover is included in the shot. Where do you usually read then? πŸ™‚

  7. I do not come across that many people who say they love the Batibot books. Wow!

    The only reason I watched the reruns of the show was for the reading segment–even if I know the story fairly well or have a copy of the book/story myself. They had really good readers. They are part of the reason why I did that stunt at the library.

    And one other thing I love about the reading segment: the music. I have deeply associated classical music with reading. And for the longest time, I have been looking for the song that they used for that segment but I have yet to know the title of that piece.

    • I loved those Batibot books! I got so excited when I found out that they reprinted those books, I got a bunch for my inaanak last Christmas. Hmm maybe I should buy copies for myself as well. My nursery school even put up a play based on the Linggit vs. Barakuda book, I was Linggit. πŸ™‚

      Hmm can’t remember what that song was, I only know the “Pag mulat ng mata, langit nakatawa” song. But yes, they had really good storytellers in Batibot.

      • I’ve been seeing those books for a few years now. I flip through them when I get the chance to. Linggit vs. Barakuda was one of the most memorable stories. Up to now, I still find Barakuda a tad scary.

        Oh, not the Batibot theme. It’s a classical piece, I believe, that uses a lot flutes and pipes, sounds airy and cheery. My friend sent me snippet of it but she too doesn’t know the title.

      • Yep, those books are memorable! I really liked the one where the aliens lived on an edible planet and the one about the family of pigs. LOL I really should get my own copies.

        Hmm I really can’t recall that music but I’ll let you know if I come across any information about it.

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