Five Confessions of A Pinoy Book Lover

As a Pinoy Book Lover, I have to tell my secrets to encourage other Filipinos to continue reading and become bookworms. You never stop learning when you read.

I love the smell of new books, it's like a drug to me. And the feel of smooth crisp paper every time you turn a page is like heaven. Running your fingers down a book's spine and touching the creases brings an extraordinary joy.

When I passed by a bookstore, I feel light headed and giddy.

Confession #1: I Became A Book Lover Because I Couldn't Read

When I was seven years old, my parents enrolled me in a Reading Summer Camp because I struggled during my first grade. I couldn't read properly either in English or in Filipino.

The Summer of '85 proved to be a milestone. I didn't just learn the technics but the appreciation of reading mattered more. After that experience, I couldn't stop reading.

I'm lucky that all my godparents were readers as well. One of my godmothers had a huge collection of children's books that every time I spent the summer with her, it was like Christmas because of all the books that I could access. 

Confession #2: Help, I'm a Book Hoarder!

Someone has asked me how many books do I have and I couldn't answer because I simply don't know the exact figure or even a ballpark one. 

I have two libraries, one in my parents' house and another one in Cebu where I have been living for the past years. Even though my books are in separate places, I don't end up buying multiple copies except for the Harry Potter series.

When did I start building my library? It was my 12th birthday and my Dad gifted me the English Classics: Jane Austen, George Eliot, Emily Bronte, and Charlotte Bronte.

Years ago, I tried to make my own set of bibliography cards. I was inspired when I read about Jose P. Rizal who famously created biblio cards of his valuable collection. Alas, the excel file that I created was forgotten and never updated. I worked on it for hours.

I did manage to make one for my blog a few weeks ago which you can view here. It lists the numerous references that I use when writing my posts. 

I've lost an older collection when my brother accidentally gave it away in the early 2000s. My heart was broken when I found out. I literally felt my heart drop to the ground.

I ran out of shelf place so I packed them in boxes and hid them in the attic until I could afford to buy more shelves. Unfortunately, my family decided to do some Spring cleaning and due to miscommunication, the books were included in the shipping container bound for my Mom's province.

Hundreds of books that included the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, Sweet Valley High, Sweet Dreams, and dozens of Historical Romances gone forever.

I could never bring myself to replace those lost books. I bought most of them during sale events at National Bookstore and by the time this unfortunate thing happened, most of the books were out of print.

Years later when I started reading on Kindle and other Android apps, I began collecting some of those titles again but Digital versions are different. I'm still a fan of the printed ones.

Confessions #3: What Do I Read?

Another of my acquaintance wanted to know what do I normally buy or collect, what kind of genre interests me. And I told him that I get attracted to authors rather than a particular category.

Once I get hooked by an author's style of writing, I'll be a follower forever. I would gobble up all their works and wait excitedly for their next ones. Even if their output isn't that spectacular, I would still read them out of loyalty (Yup, I'm talking about you, James Patterson).

I go through stages in my book collecting. And my choices are also influenced by my emotions rather than logic. When deciding on a new book to buy I read the first few lines as well as the last paragraph of the last page. It demonstrates to me how the author would capture my attention.

I've never tried reading John Green or Jenny Han or Cassandra Clare. It's not my cup of tea. It's the mystery, detective, and action genres that attracts me more.

The only Young Adult books that I subscribed to are the ones written by J.K. Rowling, Ransom Riggs, and Rick Riordan.

Aside from Fiction books, I also have a substantial selection of Non-Fiction reading materials. I had a phase wherein I only bought Artist biographies. I got so absorbed by these Art books that I got myself a magnifying glass so that I could study the details of the photographs of their works. 

Food has been an integral part of my blogging life. And now I'm seeing myself gravitate towards culinary reads.

Another time, I got addicted to DK Books' the Eyewitness Series that I dreaded going to Fully Booked lest I spend my allowance on new editions. Recently, my obssession shifted to DK's Big Ideas Simply Explained (I have 7 of the books in the series). I even created a video to talk about it.

Confession #4: My Filipiniana Infatuation

For the past few months, I found myself amassing a good amount of Filipiniana books. I've scoured the local bookstores, bought books online, and even visited museums to beef up my repertoire. 

Most of the books that I have written by Filipinos are in the History, Culture, and Architecture categories. It's becoming a passion of mine.

This frenzied stockpiling of Filipiniana books was sparked by my Christmas Day travel back to Cebu. While waiting for my flight in NAIA Terminal 3, I stopped by National Bookstore and ended up buying a couple of Nick Joaquin's Reportage series published by Anvil.

The Reportage series is a compilation of essays and articles written by Nick Joaquin under his nom de plume, Quijano de Manila in the 1960s and 1970s.

Joaquin was the celebrated Filipino writer, National Artist, journalist, essayist, and lover of San Miguel beer. He also wrote several Fiction books, Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino and The Woman Who Had Two Navels. 2017 was his 100th Birth Anniversary.

I got so engrossed reading about the crimes in 1960s Manila that I forego my usual plane nap and keep on reading. And for the next few days, I bought the rest of the Reportage books.

Confession #5: For Better or For Worse

There was a time years ago that my passion for books waned. I'm not sure why but I just stopped adding to my cache and couldn't find the energy to read. It coincided with me going back to school and taking up Masters in Management which I never did complete.

Similar to any romantic affairs, my love for books reached a plateau. I couldn't explain why or how it happened. It just did. I was still reading but mostly because of the student work.

The only book that I read for pleasure during this blue period of mine was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which came out during this time.

After a year or two in this seemingly hazy existence, my enthusiasm for the written word came slowly back. My love affair with books simply wouldn't die. It was rekindled by reading out loud Nicholas Spark's A Walk to Remember. I kid you not. It worked for me. Maybe it does help to hear stories being read aloud. If it works for kids, why not for adults?!

These are my confessions. 

My confessions might not be of the salacious nature but I hoped you took pleasure in reading them.

If you want to share your love with fellow bibliophiles, join our Facebook group: Pinoy Book Lovers Unite.