Soliloki

Prosaic soliloquies performed by a quixotic person

Archive for the ‘School’ Category

Bibliophilism

with 7 comments

Back in primary school, our class teacher would bring the whole class on a visit to the school library whenever she felt like it. Usually once a month; if we were lucky, twice a month. You see, the library wasn’t open en masse. Only on certain days could certain people be allowed to enter the library to borrow certain books. Which was odd, since there wasn’t much of a book collection in there. Besides, there was nothing worthy to steal from the library (unless you think old window lace curtains that were dusty and stained yellow beyond repair were worth stealing). With that sort of privacy the school maintained for the library, you’d have thought they kept some sort of a national treasure in there.

Anyhow, the library trip usually lasted for ten minutes top. If we were lucky, our teacher would add on an extra visiting-time of five minutes. Alas, being lucky happened to us only once in a blue moon, so on account of that, most of us kids would scuttle around in the library to get our grimy hands on whatever book we could get hold of. We’d push/pull others aside, get elbowed by the bullies, get thwacked in the face and the books in our hands would be snatched by them (it was in that library I started to learn the meaning of survival of the fittest). And there’d always be lots of drama what with the kids (translation: juvenile divos/divas) crying, screaming and the whole lot. Fifty-odd fourth-standard students acting like demon-possessed, book-deprived Neanderthals in the library, and no wonder the teacher often dreaded bringing us there. (OK, fine. So I exaggerated some. I figured a little hyperbole wouldn’t hurt.)

But you know, despite all that, those occasional trips to our school library were among the few highlights of my being a student back then. I just loved being in that room (even it had a skimpy book collection). Just the feel of being surrounded by those library books (or rather, lack thereof) made me feel…belonged. Happy. Contented. Oddly enough, although I really loved books, I wasn’t so much into reading them. I loved the feel, the smell, and just about every physical attribute of a book. The urge to read came only when I got hit by peer pressure and was being pulled into the vortex of Fear Street mania. The mania began when the ‘it’ crowd of my class and my best friends started reading the book series by R.L. Stine. Literally, everyone talked about it at school. It was a crazy and wild cult among us schoolchildren. Bieber Fever and the Twilight craze put together is nothing compared to this (not really).

Due to that, I was (and still am) grateful for the peer pressure I endured back then, as it was the turning point for me when the love for reading started to seep into my being. Reading became my passion. Since, and then. (And this is saying a lot, considering the fact that I constantly change, hobby-wise. What I fancy today, I may detest tomorrow.)

So, there you go. An excerpt of my when-did-I-start-being-a-bibliophile.

Now, with all that being said, I hereby announce my forthcoming personal project. A reading project. ‘Why?’ you may ask. Well, you see, I haven’t been reading much in two or three years. I suppose being busy with work, school and all that takes a toll on my reading time. And I really miss reading (ditto going to bookstores). So, I think it’s best to compile a proper list of books that I wish to and should read, and then from there, create a reading campaign. Mayhap by doing this, I will make a real effort to read instead of just putting it off because I don’t have time to do so.

Anyway, the list will contain, at most, one-hundred books of greatest literature which I’ll choose and pick from the endless book website links in Google and based on recommendations I get from avid readers. I haven’t started on this campaign hitherto as I’m yet to produce the to-be-read book list. However, I do have the first book to read in mind. Well, since John Steinbeck’s East of Eden is one of the greatest books and one of my all-time favourites, ’tis only fitting to start off this project with a book written by the said author. And the novel in question will be The Grapes of Wrath.

Having said that, let us just hope my incessantly-low monetary supply can afford to buy all them books.

Written by SZA

25 December 2010 at 5:52 PM

Posted in School, Things I Do