Do you remember when you started to love reading? I could--that is, faintly. Here is my story:
I was a quiet third grader, aloof yet observant. I smiled a lot but spoke less. Sometimes, I was with friends with gregarious natures, enjoying their endless flow of stories. Sometimes, I was with the silent ones like myself, enjoying the view of the world. But oftentimes, I was my own person in my well lighted corner of the school library. The library has always been there--all wood and musty and ancient--but I considered it a personal discovery; I felt I just stumbled upon a gold mine.
Then I met a new set of friends--the two pairs of energetic Bobbsey twins, my namesake Nancy Drew who was born with a curiosity that could surely kill her one of these days, and the Babysitters’ Club formed with the ideal family and neighborhood support I envied at the time. Incidentally, the library became my source of showbiz news--what happened to Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and other fairytale princesses who were all vying for attention. I also met Maria Makiling and other Philippine supernatural creatures, although I was not sure I had to emotional strength to be their friend.
Since then, I consumed two or three library cards every year. I should say I was a valuable customer. Sadly, I could not remember the librarian. Maybe because, while the librarian was in her office doing paper works, the one who served me was a working student with a ready and encouraging smile.
When I reached high school, I hesitantly started reading classics. I had no choice; we were required to do reaction papers on classic books we’ve read in our Literature class every year. With Internet a luxury, printed guide notes to classics were the tempting means to escape the mental pain of reading and analyzing what words cochineal and auto-de-fa mean and why there are so many punctuation marks in the classic novels. But I did not want to cheat myself on the opportunity to read and learn. So read I did--Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Candide by Voltaire, Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne, and so much more. In the process, a handy lightweight dictionary and I became instant friends.
Fortunately, my parents were supportive. They indulged my impulses to buy books until I graduated college. Now buying books from my own pocket, I also write about them through this blog. Sometimes, I would shake my head in wonder. Writing for Simple Clockwork reminds me of my high school days when I have to write reaction papers. The only distinction is that I’m enjoying the review process much more today. Why? Let’s just say it’s part of (my) growing up.
And that is how I got involved in this world of reading, with a hopefully “acceptable” degree of addiction.
What is your story? How did you start reading?
- Nancy -
Filipino Fridays is the meme of the ReaderCon 2012. If you missed out on my first post for the meme, you can check out this link.
The 2nd Filipino ReaderCon: United We Read is on August 18, 2012 at the Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City to be held in partnership with Filipinas Heritage Library and National Book Development Board. The event is sponsored by Scholastic, McDonald’s, Flipreads, Anvil Publishing, Hachette Philippines, Amici Philippines, OMF Literature, and Adarna House.
The first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, which aims to engage the Filipino reading community in honoring favorite Philippine-published titles, is an initiative of the Filipino Book Bloggers Group. Voting is now open!
- The Short Story Initiative - My Get to Know Each Other Post
- [Readings in Philippine Literature: Short Story # 1] “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez-Benitez, a pioneer Filipino short story writer
- [Writings from the Philippines Regions # 1] Learning more about Iloko literature (Part 1)
- Best friends (an original short story by Nancy Cudis)
- The world of Lorna, a storyteller from Cebu