Monday, July 8, 2019

Library as Culture: A genuine love for books and reading

There are wonderful conversations about books that has been going on in my social media neighborhood, especially in Facebook. One on-going conversation is happening over at a "secret" online book club whose members are mostly Titas of Manila who love to read. A friend invited me to join and, as I am always in search for good books, nice people and bookish events, I gave in. 

Here is the question that got me engaged. It is a recurring question in all book clubs I joined in.

What was the first book that ever made an impression on you?

My mother is a librarian. She borrowed books for me in the library where she worked back when I was young. She brought home Dr. Seuss; The Little Red Hen; dinosaur books and non-fiction books; graphic novels and YA. She did this until I was in high school but I knew and felt, I had to buy my own books and build my own library. I went to a small town Catholic school where the library’s stock of books is limited. So I learned to save up for books I want to buy for my own reading. Hello Book Sale! I basked in the freedom of deciding for my own reading pleasure. It was only later in life when I realized how important choice is in learning how to read. 

While I appreciate growing up with books, I give props to my lola who ran a sari-sari store. It was there where I discovered komiks! Aliwan. Funny Komiks. Wakasan. Filipino Komiks. And all the series of Pinoy horror and romance. She rented these komiks out to readers. I read them for free! Somewhere among those komiks, I read Gerry Alanguilan. Yep. Go ahead. You can carbon date me now. 😂

If I got asked this question a few years back, ten or fifteen years ago, I would have given a different answer. But now, I think, it is the people in my family who introduced me to books I am grateful for. That’s how I want to be, moving forward. I will continue bringing books and readers, and readers to books closer to each other. Naks!

Speaking of reading origins, here are links to previous blog posts. 

What about you? What was the first book that ever made an impression on you? What is your reading history? 

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