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?