On books and reading

I’d been doing a fair number of reading lately, and I’m slightly ahead with four books read on the third week of the year; the fourth was a re-read, which made reading quicker. I’m tracking progress on my library page, which (for now) unlinked on the main menu and updated manually. (I plan on using the Now Reading plugin for it, but until I have time to sit down and sort itself out, the manually updating WP page will have to do. (I also actually feel like changing the actual layout, but we’ll see.) Much thanks to Vega for pointing it out!) So far, I’ve read the following:

  1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (finished January 3)
  2. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (finished January 13)
  3. The Amulet of Samarkand (book one in The Bartimaeus Trilogy) by Jonathan Stroud (finished January 15)
  4. Dusk (Po-on) by F. Sionil Jose (finished January 17)

I mean to write down my thoughts of each book in particular soon. :) As for the last, it was a re-read as I wanted to finally finish the Rosales novels by the same author, and in chronological order, Dusk is the first. I’d read Dusk before, but haven’t read the rest, although I know I had picked up My Brother, My Executioner sometime but have not finished it. I’m now reading Tree, the second book according to chronology.

I’m liking the fact that having a goal for the year (50 books) is spurring me to rediscover my love for reading. I’ve always loved reading as a child all the way ’til I was in high school, but when college came and I was caught up in the Whole New World of software, web development, and of course Having A Boyfriend™ — I did not read as much as I should have (nor write, for that matter). I read here and there but I probably read only five new books a year; quite a disgrace.

Now I’ve started to slip back into reading, and I like it. My boss/friend Pao and I were talking on the way to Makati one day early this week, where I told him about my plan to read 50 books this year, and he said that it was something he regretted not doing as a child — read more books. He said he thought that reading is something you develop an interest for when you’re still a child, and once you’re grown it’s difficult to get into if you weren’t keen on reading when you were younger. And I think he’s right, and I’m grateful my parents let us have all the books we wanted (within reason) when we were kids. (My mom used to get angry with me, though, because once we bought a book from the bookstore (usually Nancy Drew) I would read them on the way home, and I’d have finished it already by the time we got home as the travel time then was around an hour and a half. Hee.)

It’s curious, though, about how people exactly get/develop that interest in reading. My older sister and I are avid readers, but our youngest, quite sadly, doesn’t. She tries to keep up with us — she’d propose we sit around and read, but after a few minutes of sitting/lying/etc still and reading, she’d start talking, or get bored with her book. I think she’s getting more interested in books now, which is great; she always wants to go to the bookstore and sit around and read. The thought intrigued me, though — how do people develop that interest in reading? Is it developed, or handed down, or a product of your environment, or…? Maybe it’s all three (or whatever else).

How did you start reading?

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