i was poorly socialized.
if i get stuck with a newly acquainted friend, i would pose a calm front but inside my mind i am panicking, thinking desperately of something witty to say other than saying hello and commenting about the weather. Most of the time I get by and they would think i am comfortable making friends when i am not.
"Don't get me wrong. I have lots of close friends, but it took time for me to be really be able to share with them my underwear size."
if i would be given a choice between a party and a quiet corner with a good book, i'll choose the latter.
i remember the very first time i showed interest in books. i was barely in grade school then. anytime, everyday, my dad would go to the upstairs library where he kept shelves of a wide array of books-- law books, encyclopedia, dictionary of different languages, pearl s. buck's collections (which i never laid my eyes on before college), even cookbooks, among others.
one day i sneaked up on him and insisted i could read too. he laughed and beckoned me to sit on his lap. he had been reading one of the Encyclopedia Americana's. He started reading audibly and slowly so i could catch up. Those encyclopedias were the most boring encyclopedias i ever laid my eyes on but that time they were venerable to me. The photographs were in black and white and still i kept looking at them. The text were too tiny but i kept reading them all the same. The volumes were dusty but i loved them the way flowers love spring.
"Those encyclopedias were the most boring encyclopedias i ever laid my eyes on but that time they were venerable to me... The volumes were dusty but i loved them the way flowers love spring."
At grade school, i was thirsty of books. i read all of my school books, and my big sister's, from english to math. i rummaged all the shelves on the upstairs library and discovered the the books of anatomy and physiology, botany and diseases (which belonged to my aunt and dad's sister, who is a doctor). The images on the pathophysiology book were ghastly. In the eyes of a gradeschooler, it was not a medical book, it was straight out of Doc Frankenstein's lab. That's when i started having serious bouts of hypochondriasis. i imagined my moles were malignant warts, my belly ascitic, the rashes on my butt an incurable type of skin disease, my teeth loosening up and would fall off, that i stubbornly stuck to a diet of chicken and rice soup. Mama had to place the pathophysiology book at the top shelf so i would stop coming up with new diseases every day.
"i imagined my moles were malignant warts, my belly ascitic, the rashes on my butt an incurable type of skin disease, my teeth loosening up and would fall off, that i stubbornly stuck to a diet of chicken and rice soup."
The lib became sort of off-limits. i had to go somewhere else to contain my incontrollable urge to read and smell and feel the texture of books. And so the town lib became my second home. The librarian was this middle-aged lady who paid little attention even when i strayed on the section with the eroticas, which i never laid a finger on but caught my attention all the same.
The town lib didnt have much to offer for a grade schooler, so i just settled on on the section where the readers digest collections were stacked. At home we had readers digest's too but they were old. For some reason, the subscription was stopped in the 80's so i got to read were editions older than me. So anyway, the readers digest were a treasure, the pages, glossy like a magazine. Laughter is the best medicine was always read though sometimes i didn't get how the entries could cure my tonsillitis.
"i had to go somewhere else to contain my incontrollable urge to read and smell and feel the texture of books."
During high school, my interest on current events piqued, i started reading the Philippine STAR, which i bought from the newsstand daily.
"But nobody is too old for anything. Our personal passions, they are all real. And when they start becoming unreasonable, we outgrow them."
Like all other vices, reading started as a hobby then it morphed into an addiction. During my high school and college years, it had been difficult for me to balance my studies and my addiction of novels. I knew my priorities should be set on my studies but my addiction of novels is like a jealous lover. It always wanted to come first. It had come to the point that i'd neglect studying for my exams so i could finish the novel i was reading at that time."They said that too much of something good, is not good at all... It had come to the point that i'd neglect studying for my exams so i could finish the novel i was reading at that time."
|the Charles Vath Library Building, Saint Louis University, Baguio City|
"Its not really about collecting the things itself. It is about getting immersed on something and learned about it, and having it become a part of your life. Its a kind of direction."