On Books

My thoughts and preferences on reading materials.

My Day 26 entry for Inktober 2016

When I was in grade school, I would spend hours in the school library reading books while waiting for my mother to fetch me. My favorites were the children’s rhymes and stories. When I was seven, I read John Grisham’s ‘The Client’ and proceeded to read a collection of Charles Dickens’ Christmas stories. Experiencing different worlds and eras aside from my own little one was the favorite pastime of my childhood. Nowadays however, I have absolutely no idea how I manage to squeeze time to read books [though the traffic congestion in Metro Manila could be the main culprit for this]. I have jobs and university to mind, but I still allow myself to slip out of this reality from time to time through the world of fiction.

A few months ago, the Facebook page of a bookstore chain in my country shared a picture which asks what books you are going to get from them if all wold be for free. My answer: EVERYTHING from the classics section. Any book marked classic is something I would get my hands on, abridged or not, as long as it’s in a language I am fluent at. Sometimes, even if it’s not a classic but still has a historical setting would do for me. Call me picky or an old-soul wannabe, but I prefer classic literature over anything else, no matter the theme. There’s a kind of easy eloquence that only classics can portray. Perhaps, it’s like learning an entirely different culture apart from those that the world has now.

Aside from classics, I also enjoy thrillers, particularly political thrillers. Fast-paced novels that involve conspiracy and mystery are a welcome distraction from my day-to-day life. I admit that my life has little excitement in it and, being the lazy and penniless bum I am, I want to experience exciting lifestyles without much traveling and physical exertion. The best way for me to have that is by reading thrillers.

This is a recent development, but I have also grown to like thought-provoking and almost philosophical novels. Though I’m not gonna lie, ‘Sophie’s World’ by Jostein Gaarder bored me. I picked up ‘1984’ by George Orwell this June and it has affected me deeply. In case you haven’t noticed my blog description, I consider myself an over-thinker in the sense that I fall asleep every night with my mind exhausted from contemplating the cosmos. Most of the time, I come up with stupid thoughts though. Needless to say, ‘1984’ gave me tons of stuff to think about and I continue to spend sleepless nights over its theme. So when my uncle in Chicago asked me if there’s anything I want him to send me along with the package for the rest of our family, I readily requested any book by Albert Camus. I got ‘The Fall’, ‘The Plague’ and ‘A Happy Death’, and I couldn’t be happier. They all keep me up at night, thinking about death and my existence on this planet.

If you take a trip to the bookstore with me, these kinds of books are what I will most probably grabĀ provided that I have the budget for ’em. I’ve been hoarding books these past few days because I keep finding rare gems in a secondhand bookshop in the mall near my university. I even take those with the former owners’ handwritten comments and annotations, it’s fun to read them because it assures me that someone else has enjoyed the volume like I did.

I’m ending this here. Until next time!

Author: Malory Columbretis

College student who looks into the abyss too often. Prone to bouts of nihilism and apathy. Channels frustration and fascination in life through writing.

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