Friday, November 8, 2013

Filipino Friday (5): What do Readers Want?

It's the last Friday of Filipino Friday 2013 and these are the questions of the day:

What’s your favorite genre/reading material?
Who is your favorite author (local or foreign)?
What kinds of books would you like to see more of from local authors or publishers?
What is your favorite book from a Filipino author?

I prefer reading speculative fiction, fantasy especially. But in my line of work, I have learned to read genres I do not like. Reading has allowed me to accommodate and tolerate different world views and constructs. This is a humbling experience and it's awesome. Knowledge is out there. My respect for the reality and expertise of others grow in every reading journey. Of late, I find myself reading essays and non-fiction. This interest was actually spurred by reading fiction the past few years. Sometimes I think about the thin line that divide fiction from non-fiction. A crafty writer can turn fiction into reality and non-fiction into something wonderful and magical.

This is why I love Gaiman. And Rowling. I've started reading Nicholas Carr's The Shallows this week. His storytelling skill is amazing!

Among friends in the local Children's Literature industry, I hold Augie Rivera, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan and Rhandee Garlitos with great respect for their integrity, prolific writing and passionate advocacy to promote the industry. I am charmed by the works of Robert Magnuson, Jomike Tejido and Russell Molina. I am grateful that every year, the anthology, Philippine Speculative Fiction by the Lit Critters core group is published. Dean Alfar's short story, The Kite of Stars, is my definitive Pinoy speculative fiction. I await for Trese 6 by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. Still, it has been an interesting experience scouting and picking up new Filipiniana published by local publishers. Eliza Victoria's A Bottle of Storm Clouds surprised me. Bebang Siy's It's a Mens World had me in stitches. Allan Derain's Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag made me reflect on the morals of myths.

As far as children's books and young adult literature in the country is concerned, I wish to see more of the later and a continued growth of the former. Format is not an issue personally, but print is still important especially for beginning readers. Why? The answer to that question is for another blog post.

My all time favorite book by a Filipino author is Manila, My Manila by Nick Joaquin. I lost my copy years ago and learned recently that the book is out of print.

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