Tita Mary is my paternal aunt. She stayed with us while she was studying BS Education at PNU. I believe we (my sisters and I) were her first students. She was diligent and by the time I was 4 I can already read, write and do math. That is why upon reaching 5 years old I was already in Grade 1. I can never thank her enough for instilling my passion for learning. I was born in Tondo Manila. And we stayed there until I was 6 years old. Tondo to many is a chaotic place, that is true, that is why Tatay, worked really hard to be able to afford transferring to QC where we can live more peacefully, but Tondo is where I started to enrich my passion for reading, who would’ve thought? I remember there’s an old house in Tello St. the house is located in a dark alley, smelly and dirty, there are drug addicts lurking in corners but I seemed to be oblivious to them. I would run to that alley clutching the coins I collected, run up the old wooden rickety stairs to reach my destination. This old house rents comics and I delight in the comics laid out on the table. I love the smell of the paper and I would spend a while choosing my read for the day. You might be thinking what kind of comics, well; I was only 4years old then. And my favourite that time was Funny Comics.
I love Niknok and Planet of the Apes. So there, those were my first exposure to reading.
Tame may have taught me to read but I know I inherited my love for reading from Tatang, my paternal grandfather. Tatang can read just about anything he can lay his hands on, and he can read for hours only stopping to eat and probably to go to the restroom. I remember he even reads my collection of Sweet Valley High and Sweet Dreams books. It doesn’t matter what genre just as long as it’s on paper and has words, he’ll read it.
In high school, my best friend Fiona and I would spend a lot of our time in the library and there I started to like reading Nancy Drew. By the time we’re done with 2nd year I was able to read all the Nancy Drew books in our library. This eventually proved to be valuable in my professional career as I did a lot of sleuthing and was able to catch a lot of thieves. I graduated from Nancy Drew and moved on to more mature suspense-mystery novels. In college I delved into reading Sheldon and Grisham. I loved it a lot that I vowed to myself I would collect all Sheldon books and I was able to achieve that. The books are now safely tucked in my book shelf waiting to be read by my kids hopefully when they grow up.
After graduating from the university I landed a job and since I’m not into the social scene I prefer to stay at home, read and be alone, the introvert that I am. My salary would be spent on books and during those times I would be eagerly waiting for the release of the Harry Potter books. I would buy the hard bound ones and I remember going to National Bookstore to be enlisted on their reservation sheet. On the first day of release I would be there eagerly waiting for my copy, not minding the cost. I recall it was worth above Php1000 to which I don’t care. Upon reaching my seat on the bus I would start to read, only stopping when prodded by the bus conductor. After Harry Potter I moved on to reading Tolkien and even that I splurge on.
Somebody urged me to try reading one novel, but I really never got the hang of it. I even bought it to her insistence. She wouldn’t stop bugging me about it until I bought it and she borrowed it and never returned the book I never finished on reading. She said it was really good and it was in her most favourite movie. It was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera. I know it’s a classic and highly acclaimed, very intellectual, but it didn’t float my boat. I guess, it’s really to each his own. But still would love to have it back. We parted not in good terms so I guess shell never return it anymore.
Now, as much as I would love to read an actual book I it’s proving to be a lot difficult so I opt to read using my ipad. Currently, I’m reading George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones collection. Using my Good reads app. I can discover new authors and I have found to like Patterson, Emily Griffin and a lot more. I know I have passed on this passion to my kids because now you’ll often find them huddled in their room reading a book their Ate Mikee and Lola Cel sent. Kali is now reading A Diary of a Wimpy Kid, while my little boy is still on the nursery rhyme stuff, which is still exceptional.