Sunday, July 18, 2004

Book Addiction

A Rational Technology repost.

I was five years old when I first tried to run away from home. Mother and I had a spat, and I decided I couldn't take any more of it. I was going to go away to live with my friend and neighbor. I got a box, tied a piece of rope to it, and packed in...my school books.

It all seems very silly now. Mother caught me before I could set foot outside our store, and so my adventure ended before it could begin. But she had a good laugh when she found out I didn't pack food or clothes but only books. Seriously, who could have known nerdiness started so early?

Close to thirty years later, I am still in love with books. My sisters and I have shored up enough to fill a whole room in our house in Davao, so much so that the collection is now spilling out into the living room. If I'm not careful, the house in Dumaguete might just end up in similar straits.

I can't help it, you see. A bookstore is an irresistible magnet, and I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if we had well-stocked libraries in this country, but unfortunately we don't. So bookstores have been my substitute. I browse more than I buy, but with the number of visits, the occasional purchase is just unavoidable. A book here, a book there, and soon we're talking about a veritable library.

My tastes have always tended towards science fiction, and that's a genre I enjoy to this day. I've also had an brief dalliance with philosophy and the classics, though that affair started out with somewhat snobbish intellectual ambition; I still revisit them now and then.

Somehow, as I've gotten older, I'm finding that my tastes are changing as I now gravitate towards history and biography. I still turn my nose up at business and management books, however. De gustibus nil dispatundum.

In hindsight, though, I wish I had mentors and guides to tell me which books to read and with whom I could discuss those books. Alas, about one out of every ten books I read was just so much bunk. Being an impressionable youngster, I started out with the mistaken notion that, just because any work that someone cared to publish was good; that's sadly far removed from reality.

Nevertheless, I've had a very exciting journey with books and the joys have been innumerable. What can I say? Deep down inside me, there's still that five-year old who tried to run away from home with only his books.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I read your blog once in a while. Can I invite you to a forthcoming library event in Davao, and maybe you can blog about it? It's the launch of our new software Follett Destiny, and it will be at Grand Men Seng Hotel on Oct 22, 2010. Here's the link: http://www.eisi.com.ph/events.html#event2
    Great blog and congratulations on your engagement. Reuel Avila

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