Reading has always been a part of my life. I liked reading a lot, maybe developing a taste for it because being the youngest of seven children, I was exposed to the books my sisters bought. I also bought books of my choosing, especially when I was in grade school and wanted to play teacher-teacher with the househelp or if they were asleep, with my dolls. I bought schoolbooks in Catholic Trade School in Manila, whenever we’d visit.
For leisure I borrowed books from the library in the classroom or later, in the bigger library in school. Before high school my reading materials included Nancy Drew books, Trixie Belden, Enid Blyton. I must have read one or two Hardy Boys books, bought by my older sisters. I don’t think I really bought any of them on my own.
Comic books included fairy tales, Little Lotta, Audrey, Wendy, Archie, and Golden Classics fairy tales. There were so many of them put in drawers in our bathroom that some were eventually bound in thick volumes.
In high school I began to read Mills and Boon, a little of Barbara Cartland. I read Harold Robbins’ books, which my sisters bought. I also read To Kill a Mockingbird, Ayn Rand, Little Prince. I was in grade school when an older sister gave me LP and I didn’t finish it. I was apparently too young to appreciate it then.
High school also meant reading Tiger Beat, Fave and other teen magazines, oh yes, Seventeen before it was localized. Sometimes, a few classmates and I would exchange issues we’d missed.
College and later meant reading Robert Ludlum and other authors of his genre.
Then I began to edit and read/write case studies. Reading became work, and not an occasion for leisure. If I did read for leisure, this meant reading magazines (a habit I took up even in grade school as Mama would buy local showbiz magazines, while the maids would have Bulaklak and Liwayway, Hiligaynon too. I read the comics of those magazines and some articles, I think. I also used to read Graphic Magazine, Nation, etc.). I did read a few books along the way, two of which stood out: On Writing by Stephen King, Still Me by Christopher Reeve. SK is compelling reading, CR – I could relate with his book, a lot, being in a wheelchair like him.
Then work began to come in trickles: tutoring, editing, writing. I had a lot of time on my hands. So I would watch telenovelas on DVD-DVD, on TV, etc. I would read some magazines: Fortune, Time, YES.
Then the DVD-DVDs of Koreanovelas began to have badly written subtitles, whereby I could no longer be sure what they wanted to convey. Reading initially was not an option for me for two reasons, maybe more:
a) space – books take up a lot of space. Once the mom of a tutee came and said “You have so many books!” and she was only seeing those in the sala. Had she gone to the bathroom, she’d have passed the hallway where a huge shelf stands laden with books.
b) books cost – between buying stuff for my baby, toddler, little boy, young man and buying books, I opted for the former and rationalized that I could always read the books he bought or those my husband bought. I did, a few of both categories.
c) eyesight problems – the print in a lot of books, magazines even, is so small sometimes that I would put them close to my eyes to be able to read. My sister remarked on this once and I began to wonder if I was harming my eyesight even more by doing so.
Years back, I saw some big print books in Fully Booked, among them On Writing. But by then I had already read the book in the regular print. There were other titles but I guess I was either in denial mode or in a) and/or b) mode above.
Then a few months ago, son mentioned wanting a Kindle. Husband already had one I got for him years back, except that it’s toggle was no longer working. It occurred to me that I could resume reading using a Kindle as it allowed enlarging font size.
So I got a Kindle Touch for each one of us, plus Kindle covers for each one of us.
Now I am happily reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King in my Kindle, in between reading Walter Isaacson’s Albert Einstein biography and Susan Cain’s Quite: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, the latter two gifts of my cousin (thanks a lot, B!).
I cannot be happier. Before finally buying my first Kindle book (SK’s novel), I had been downloading samples or free books, hesitant to spend precious pesos if I could get reading fare free.
Allow me to introduce you to my new friend, starting with the Marware Eco-Vue cover:
which has a pocket where I can put stuff in, a strap where I can insert my hand so the Kindle won’t fall while I’m reading,
and finally, my Kindle. Just look at the font size:
(sorry about the shadows in the pictures.)