Thursday, November 25, 2010


I've always been an avid bookworm: reading books over meals, late into the night, in the shower (!), on the throne, pretty much anywhere except in a moving car (I get horribly sick). I much prefer to read than to talk.
Well, for someone who once couldn't go a day without devouring several chapters, if not an entire book, I realized that the past few years were filled to the brim with being married, raising kids, trying to run a household, trying to make money, endless surfing online, and the iPad... pretty much everything except reading. I've recently just started once again and it's a relief and a comfort to hold a good book in my hands: the anticipation of the world awaiting within, the feel of the pages, the cover design, and the smell! The smell of books (and magazines) should be bottled and sold!
Growing up, there was just a handful of bookstores in Manila, and these stocked more office supplies than books. My mom would lug home dozens of paperbacks each time she travelled, and that's how I met Anne Shirley, Ramona and Beezus, Judy Blume, Enid Blyton (The Naughtiest Girl in School, Famous Five!), Laura Ingalls, and countless others.
Thankfully, it's much easier to come by good reading material in Manila these days. There is a second-hand bookstore close to us. It's tucked into the corner of a decades-old grocery. A tiny place with books on shelves, stacked on the floor, overflowing out into the aisle. It's no Strand, or Three Lives, but it does get a surprisingly good selection of children's books. The kids know they get unlimited treats there as long as I deem the books are suitably educational, and entertaining but not silly (I try to steer away from character books).
Yesterday though, it was my turn. One of my favorite booknooks was on sale, so N and I walked over after lunch and I picked up a stack of books for myself: favorite authors, some new ones, a parenting book highly recommended by N, and one that I haven't decided whether to keep or to give Ninong M.
What a blessing, to find and be able to afford these treats! I can't wait to burrow down in my cozy armchair with these. And hopefully it's the push I need to get out of this reading slump.

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