Back in the 70s, when I was still a grade school student, the last days of May and the first week of June were some of the most exciting moments for me. While covering my notebooks and books, I would find time to lie down or sit back and read. And what would I read? My textbooks, of course! And not just the ones for my English class but those for other subjects as well, like religion, Filipino, and social studies. All the books that had stories in them. By the time classes started, I’ve read all the stories in our textbooks!
I remember this now because it was what made my love for reading grow. By 2nd year high school, I was already reading Robert Ludlum and was introduced to Jason Bourne. I also read Shogun, one of my dad’s favorite books. I don’t remember the story in detail anymore, but I do recall watching the mini-series on TV.
Most of the time though, I read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Sweet Dreams, Silhouette Romance, and Mills & Boon. I had a complete collection of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Sweet Dreams. Unfortunately, most of them were borrowed and never returned.
I also started reading Agatha Christie, as I was encouraged by my maternal grandmother, Mama Chata. In the early 90s, I got hooked on Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles and devoured books 1 to 5 in a matter of months. Book 6 came later after I returned home to Cagayan de Oro. I still need to complete the series, though, as I haven’t read the last six books (2000-2016).
My All-time Favorites
I discovered James Patterson and Mary Higgins Clark when I was already teaching at Philippine Southfield School in Bugo. From the early 2000s to the present, I try my best to read every Patterson and Higgins Clark book that I could get my hands on. Actually, the only ones I haven’t read are the 2017 publications. The newest ones.
Also in my list of favorite authors are Phillip Margolin, David Baldacci, Nora Roberts (her blend of romance and mystery), Heather Graham (her supernatural series), J.K. Rowling, Robert Galbraith (Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series), Neil Gaiman, J.D. Robb (Roberts’ In Death series), Janet Evanovich (Plum series), Rainbow Rowell, Carol Higgins Calrk (Higgins Clark’s daughter – for the Regan Reilly mysteries), Nicholas Sparks (for super light reading), and Jodi Picoult.
I also love Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train! I fact, I have read it twice already. I’m planning to read more of her work.
I read a lot of local publications, too. My current favorites are the Trese series of Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo, The Girl Between Two Worlds by CDO’s very own K.M. Levis, and Arnie Q. Mejia’s Writing Naked (I can read this over and over and never get bored!).
Books or eBooks?
A lot of people have been asking me if I prefer to read printed books or if I’d rather use eBooks. My answer has always been the same: I use and prefer both. My reason is very simple: I do not always have the money to buy a printed copy of the books I love. I have an eBook reader and an iPad. I use both for reading the latest novels by my favorite authors.
My Pinoy authors collection is considered collectors’ items, so I prefer them in the good ol’ printed version. The only downside to buying locally published books/novels or comics series (like Trese) is their availability here in CDO. Yes, there’s Fully Booked, but their copies are limited.
I can tell you a lot of reasons why reading is one of the best leisure time activities for you, but it won’t really matter. We have our own reasons for doing the things we do, so I cannot just say reading is good for the mind and force you to pick up a book. All I can do is share with you the wonderful feeling I get every time I read.
I can share with you the many wonderful places I discover through the novels I read. I can tell you all about the people I meet in the stories I read.
I can tell you all about the lessons I learn from the characters, ideas, situations, and realizations that my favorite authors explore and share.
I can only tell you all these, but I cannot force you to read.
But, yes, these are the reasons why I read. All the books I read provide the food that my brain needs. It’s the best exercise for my mind.
So if you’re looking for good food for the brain, try reading. Just try. After all, there’s no harm in trying, right?
Will come out with a part 2 for this and I’ll share some books that I found as I visited National Bookstore and Fully Booked several days and weeks ago.
Happy reading, fellow bookworms!