My father used to be a good reader. He stocked up hundreds of books (mostly in Malay) and he subscribed to Reader’s Digest back in the 70s and 80s. I read the part with the jokes and tried to understand English as best as I could. I’d say I like it better in the old days. The latest version is full of contests and advertisements and just too many unfunny jokes.
He is very good at getting banned books. I guess he’s curious. I don’t know where or from whom did he buy it but I’ve read The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie when I was in kindergarten. It was even translated in Malay (My English was not very good until I went to secondary.) I didn’t know the book was sinful. It was never awful.
I stopped reading at about 12 because most of the books within my reach were boring. There weren’t many genres or varieties. I didn’t pick reading back until after I was 14. At school most of my friends spoke very good English and they read English books. I read Archie and Dennis the Menace but I never touched the serious ones, especially the ones labeled Sydney Sheldon. The covers were always dark and gloomy and suggested murder.
But the books were always around me and it was high time that I picked one. Only then that I realized I found my salvation. That was it – my only escape from boredom and pain. You tripped into literature and stood up a new person. All wounds are healed.
I thought I was the only one until I found some book bloggers. Those people are hardcore. They’re even crazier than I was and they live in countries that encourage reading culture, compatible rates for good books, brilliant second hand bookstores, wide coverage of promotional/book release and meet and greet the writers. I cannot be jealous enough. I follow a couple of dozens of them on my tumblr account and found them to be deliciously good catalyst. They not only provided reviews, photos, recommendations and theme. They even write and establish good relationships with one another.
On my dashboard every day I would marvel at the shelves in their homes, the colorful hardcover limited edition of Penguin Classics, signed paperbacks, photos of their ferret reading along, cats bookmarking their chapters, books listed according to their colors, best theme related series (vampires, magic, fairy tales retold.), gender reversing roles of their favourite protagonists, essays on feminism in literature, synopsis on young adult literature/series, free gifts (books, what else?), their favorite bookstores, fan fictions (what would happen if Hermione Granger marries Draco Malfoy), fan art (drawings of Luna Lovegood as a boy or woman of color), quotes from various books (The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you – The Book Thief. I read Anna Karenina just because I read some random words), puns from Harry Potter, snapchats from Pride and Prejudice, sassy literature memes, name researches, fun facts about authors, etc. All these made my wish list grew longer and longer. I am totally berserk now that I know more fun things about books.
I browsed MPH Online store every day for 2 weeks to gather price information and I strike. My wish list is completed.
I watched Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (the movie) but I wasn’t pleased with how it turned out though they did have brilliant casts. The girls were going on and on about Percy and Annabelle so I had to join the fangirling team. It was a pentalogy of Greek gods and halfbloods. I’m IN! Another series that had won prizes and good reviews is a trilogy called Walking Chaos. It’s centered in a dystopian society (like most young adult adventures) where the society is consisted by men – only men. They can hear each other’s thoughts, which is quite annoying to be honest. No privacy there. So the main protagonist was told that there is one quite spot and there he found a girl. Of course the story got more interesting from there.
Total books: Eight for now (5 + 3)
I was researching on how to write English novels and came across Joseph Conrad. I am not comfortable with my English and thought badly of how I constructed my sentences. It lacked some depth. So I am looking for tips, mentor or any author to wrap my head around that topic and found out that Conrad was Polish. English was his third language (he acquired it in his 20s) and he excelled at it. So I bought Lord Jim and Secret Sharer. Maybe I could learn something from him. The two stories are bound in one tome for the price of one book.
Nine books. You can’t really quit counting before ten, can you?
So I look for a poem book. I only bought one collected poems by Rumi. That was not enough so I decided to add Lang Leav to my list. I follow her page on Facebook and I like her poems. There’s something special in her words. Her poems are not long or tedious or even complicated. Its tendrils pull your soul out of abyss to breathe. Love and Misadventures sounded perfect as my last book.
And I clicked BUY.