how it all began

Books have always been a part of my everyday – in good days and in bad, they have been my constant companions. (What was it that Jo March said, “Some books are so familiar that reading them feels like coming home.”) Increasingly though, it isn’t enough just to consume them. I want to better respond and actively share my bookish journey, thus this blog.

So let me start by sharing how my literary love affair began. Like many devoted readers, it all started when I was young, particularly with a favorite storybook that I  regularly checked-out from the school library. It was about a family of country mice who had one mission – to go to the moon. Why? Because they think the moon is one giant ball of cheese. It was a picture book and as a 6-year-old, I’d scan through its pages over and over dreaming of living in their comfy country homes and enjoying the lush greens of the outdoors. To this day, those pictures are still vivid in my mind.

Bitten by the literary bug!

That was the spark! 

From then on I was the kid who had my nose constantly buried in a book. Whenever Ma and I would go to the mall, I can have a choice to buy one small item to bring home. We would always end up at National Bookstore where I’d drag her to the the Nancy Drew section. (It was either the bookstore or SM to buy hair ribbons – my other passion back in the day. :p)

 As I grew older, I graduated on to Sweet Valley Twins and High, teenybopper romance from Sweet Dreams then in high school, it felt we were being ~rebellious to our Catholic school education by reading “mature books” – which simply means, books with a half-naked Fabio on the cover and a lengthy description of sex (OMG! what!) and the hilarious euphemisms for the male and female genitalia. Then, I moved on to suspense thrillers Ken Follett style or scifi-lite through Michael Chrichton. But after a while, I was getting slowly bored. The plots in these books are  the equivalent of draw by numbers (not to mention the writing were mostly terrible.)

So, I turned to classics. I must admit part of the reason I did was because they were cheap. Goodwill Bookstore had a huge collection of classic titles which they were selling for PHP30 ($1.00!) each. With a measly paycheck and a voracious appetite for reading, classics were  heaven sent to me. I devoured everything from Austen to the Brontes to Flaubert. (Madame Bovary remains one of my favorite books of all time.)

Then, in 2004, I made the big, life-changing move to Singapore. Borders and Kinokuniya carried an impressively wide catalogue which deeply fed my appetite. (Not to mention, a wide collection at the Public Library!)

And so continues my tireless bookish journey.