I love reading and I really love books. I can equally splurge on books the same way I do with clothes, shoes and bags.
My interest over books started with the series of The Baby Sitters Club pocketbooks. When I was still in my Elementary years, our school library abundantly provided us with the series of different US pocketbooks. While most of my classmates were interested with Sweet Valley Kids and High, my interest was diverted to The Baby Sitters Club, Best Friends and Choose Your Own Adventure series. My interest in books did not just provide me a worth past time but also helped me develop my reading comprehension skills. During those times, I was ashamed to admit that I’m having a hard time reading and comprehending articles in English. Thanks to these books because they offered me an alternative and enjoyable approach in reading and learning.
When I reached High School, the Chicken Soup for the Soul became my new addiction. I remember, there were only limited copies of these books available in our school library. Even though I was a member of the Library Club, I wasn’t able to get immediate access to these Chicken Soup series. However, I realized that in this time, I was 13 to 16 years old, my interest over books somehow diminished. My attention, as part of growing up, was diverted to somewhere else. Music was one addiction I developed in High School. I got more hooked to Backstreet Boys, Boyzone, Spice Girls, Hanson, Moffats, The Corrs, Natalie Imbruglia and N Sync.
My college life further made me forget reading as a worthwhile activity. I was so preoccupied with my studies, the Internet and the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). I was contented in reading entertaining forwarded mails, started my social networking life in Friendster, watching PBA games and cheering for Dennis Espino and the Sta. Lucia Realtors (back then!).
Life after college enabled me to regain my interest over books. While I am already earning my own money, I started to purchase my own books. I consider them my most treasured books because I was able to purchase them out of my own hard work.
The first books that I purchased on my first year of working were the two Youngblood series and The Da Vinci Code. I spent Php 700 (around $14) for three books. After some months, I was able to buy my first Chocolate for Women, just in time for my Holy Week vacation.
After I got tenure from work, I enrolled for my MBA and it was back to school for me! My love for books was still there. But my book purchases were devoted to other expenses. I have to purchase MBA books, a printer and my first ever laptop.
Today, I’m done with my MBA and teaching is the new chapter in my life. Though I have been teaching for three years, I consider each semester with my college students as a new point of learning and exploration. Teaching is both a challenging and fulfilling task for me. I am given the opportunity to share to these young minds what I learn and grew up with. More importantly, teaching gave me more motivation and reasons to love and enjoy my solitary life with books.
I now read and purchase more books. This is something I have never done before. I have more books and I could purchase more books. Thanks to my plastic electronic device, my credit card! I can purchase books anytime and anywhere.
Today, I am proud and happy to say that I have regained and even increased my love for books. Some of the favorite books I love include works of Cecelia Ahern, Sophie Kinsella, Nicholas Sparks, Mitch Alboom, Bob Ong of course, Bo Sanchez, Dan Brown, Levitt and Dubner’s Freakonomics and a lot more.
Apart from books, my every trip to every bookstore is something that I also look forward. Before, National Bookstore was my sole destination. But today, I could already manage to visit Fully Booked and Powerbooks. I’m also starting to love Booksale and I continuously search for branches with more books and less customers. But among the bookstores in the Philippines, the four-storey National Bookstore in Araneta Center Cubao is my most loved. Believe it or not, I could spend an entire day in this building. I particularly appreciate their fourth floor, the Bargain Books Section. This is heaven for all booklovers out there. A pocketbook for as low as Php 30 (less than a dollar), an old Guinness Book of World Records for Php 100 ($ 2), hardbound books for as low as Php 80 ($ 2) are just some of the best finds in this section.
I don’t know what is in store for me and the next years of my solitude. But I am looking forward for new ventures, more friends and acquaintances and of course more books in my life. Hopefully, in the future it would not just be me, my solitude and my books. A new addition to my life, my solitude and my books is very much welcomed!