Filipino Friday on a Sunday: Catch Up Post!

This is a massive catch-up post for all ReaderCon Filipino Friday posts I missed in the past weeks. I meant to answer each question individually with scheduled posts and all, but you know how sometimes we mean things but never really end up doing them? Yeah, that. But better late than never, even if it means doing a Filipino Friday post on a Sunday. :)

So here’s a massive Filipino Friday catch-up post, answering all four questions that I missed. I promise will try not to be too talkative!

Filipino Friday

...on a Sunday! :)

Week 2: How did you become a reader? Why do you read?

The Best Thanksgiving Ever - SVK # 34[/caption]

I mentioned in my intro post that my dad used to read Pepito the Catfish to me when I was young, and I’d like to think that that was the thing that started me reading. My mom often told me that she was afraid I had problems with reading when I was a kid because it took a while for me to learn how to read. She’d tell me that I used to “pretend” to read, lying on bed with a book open, even if I can’t actually read. I remember in Grade 1, I’d borrow these Bible story books from my classmate and pore over them everyday while it was with me. But I think the time I really started to pick up books on my own was in Grade 3 (when scanner software was practically nonexistent), when a classmate brought some of her Sweet Valley Kids books to school. The colorful covers intrigued me and I borrowed one. I never finished that borrowed copy, but I begged my mom to buy me one book (back then it was only Php 59.75!), and that started everything. That started it all, and since then, the bookstore became my haven. :)

Why do I read? Well, that’s a harder question to answer. I could go on and on about how stories shape our lives and how books provide knowledge and all…but I think my real reason is this: I love words. English has always been my best subject (Science also was one, until the Math part of it kind of made it hard for me), and I have always found comfort in words. There’s just something beautiful about a words coming together to form a story, and I dream of being able to have my own story out there in the wild (no matter how scary that thought is :D).

Week 3: How hard or easy it is to become a book lover in the Philippines?

Okay, this is kind of a big question. Truth be told, I’ve only been looking at how different it is to be a book lover in our country lately, when I started getting more active in book blogger activities. Before I started blogging about books, I was only concerned about the books I find in the local bookstores. I don’t know if I’m lucky or I just don’t want too many books back then, but every time I look for a book I want, I find it. I guess I just happen to look in the right places? Or I just didn’t subscribe much to hype.

Now that I’m more aware…I’m kind of on the fence here. Yes, it’s hard to be a book lover in the Philippines because not all the books I want get here on time, and it’s hard to find some of the books I want, but like I said, for some reason, I always find ways. I guess I could count myself blessed enough to have the resources (and patience!) to get the books I want. Here’s my usual game plan in getting books:

  • I look for it first in local bookstores, usually a few days to a month after it gets released. If I’m lucky, I find it there and get it. Fully Booked (especially Eastwood) has never failed me with their reservation and transfer system, so they’re pretty good for me.
  • Before Book Depository and before I got my Kindle, I also often ask my dad to order some books for me from Amazon and for him to bring it when he goes home. I used to do this for Christian fiction books I want because that is harder to find here!
  • When I got my Kindle for iPhone, I had to weigh the option if I really want that book in ebook form or print form. Now my criteria of getting an ebook is if (1) I absolutely can’t wait for the book, (2) I don’t mind not having a print copy and (3) I love the author so much that I don’t mind buying a print copy after I read the ebook.
  • If it’s not there and I have extra cash in my Paypal account and I really want the book and I feel that it would be cheaper, I’ll order it on Book Depository. (Lately, though, I reserve BD for pre-orders).
  • And just lately: borrow from fellow book lovers. I don’t need to acquire every book I want to read, right?

So I guess I’m just really blessed to find ways. I still wish there are good libraries here, though, because I think it will help a lot of people, but I can’t really complain much since I still get to read what I want to read. :)

Week 4: Do I read Filipino literature?

I love that I can say yes to this. :) Yes, I do! Of course, I only started reading them last year, thanks to Project 20:10, and even if I’ve never met my reading challenge, I still try to read more. As an aspiring Filipino novelist, I think reading local fiction is required. I’m no expert with local fiction, and I must admit that I’m still choosy with local fiction (sorry, the books I used to read in school are the things I still avoid — I can’t handle reading too much social ills and dysfunctional families). I am very glad that local fiction is growing, even if it’s not in the usual channels. Some notable reads:

I look forward to reading more Filipino literature, and I dream for one of our Filipino NaNoWriMo novelists to publish their own novels and send it out in the wild. :)

Week 5: What do you hope will happen in the Filipino ReaderCon?

Filipino Readers Make it Social!Oh expectations. I’ve learned not to set expectations because it often leads to…

Oh wait, sorry, I’m not in my personal blog. =D

Kidding. Anyway, I don’t really have set expectations for the 1st Filipino Reader Conference (it’s only 3 DAYS AWAY! :D). I am looking forward to an afternoon filled with book talk, seeing old friends and meeting new ones, too. I expect to be busy on that day, being a volunteer and all, but I also expect it’s a good kind of busy because it’s for something that I am passionate about. :)

Whew, sorry for the long post! :) I hope that even if I blabbed on and on here, this would convince you to join us in the first ever Filipino Reader Conference on the first day of the 32nd Manila International Book Fair, September 14, 1-6pm at SMX MOA Meeting Room 2! If you can’t make it, then I hope to be able to talk to you over at the @PinoyReaderCon twitter — I’ll be the live Twitter-er for the event. :)

See you there! :D

Filipino Friday: ReaderCon Intro

Filipino Friday

It’s not Friday here anymore, but you know that thing where the day is not over until you’ve slept? Yeah, I’m doing that here.

It’s been a crazy couple of days that’s why it’s kind of quiet in the blog, and it will be quiet again soon because I’ll be off to a trip for the next two weeks! I’m breaking the blog silence to join the first Filipino Friday meme in preparation for the first Filipino Reader’s Conference that will be happening next month (more to that in a future post, hopefully this weekend :D).

So, hi! I’m Tina. I’ve been reading since I was a kid and I’d like to believe that my dad’s reading time with me was what made me a reader. I remember the times he’d read this Pepito the Catfish to me when I was younger, and there was this other book that he used to read to me in the province when we were staying there. Anyway, the first time I truly wanted to start collecting and reading books was when a classmate in Grade 3 brought some Sweet Valley Kids books in school. Ever since then, the bookstore has always been my favorite place to go to when I go out.

I wish I could say I read any genre, but I’m really very biased towards YA, especially contemporary. I’ve learned to love fantasy last year, and right now I’m working on getting to know more sci-fi and classics. My favorite a.k.a auto-buy authors are Sarah Dessen, John Green, Frank E. Peretti, Ilona Andrews, Melina Marchetta, Mira Grant, Camy Tang, Patrick Ness, Stephen Emond, and Mina V. Esguerra to name a few. :) I’m pretty sure I missed someone there — there’s just too many good books by good authors out there.

Comfort reads include anything swoony or funny, preferably both — best examples are The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra. I like my books with enough swoon. ;) I also tend to like books with zombies and just recently, superheroes.

Two of the best books I’ve read this year: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. And just because it’s unusual, I think it’s worth a mention that I thought Unearthly by Cynthia Hand is one of those paranormal books that went against the norm. And because they’re from favorite authors, I also thought Jasper Fforde’s The Last Dragonslayer and Mira Grant’s Deadline are full of awesome. :)

If this post sounds just a teensy bit loopy, I apologize. I’m actually really sleepy right now. :P So, hi! :)

What to read next?

It’s summer here in the Philippines and as expected, it’s scorching hot again. My blogger friend Chachic put up a post yesterday about summer reads, and her question got me thinking of something else, something that I’m sure readers with mountains of books waiting to be read always face: how do you choose what to read next?

I know some people choose their next books on a whim. Some follow a schedule, or let reading challenges guide them. For those who have to go through review copies, they have to follow a schedule based on release dates. I want to know — how do you pick your next read?

I tend to go through the following:

  • I usually pick what I read next based on the genre of what I just finished reading. For example, right now, I’m readingtwo fantasy books (On the Edge by Ilona Andrews and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand) because I realized that I’ve finished reading 4 contemporary YA novels almost one after the other. I needed a dose of magic, quick! I don’t always switch genres like that — it really depends on the mood. I try not to read too many of one genre one after the other, though, because variety is good.
  • If it’s a series, I try to hold off on it, unless I really, really want to know what happens next. Perfect example: Kate Daniels series. I just had to read one after the other. Another example of holding off on reading the next books after reading one or two: Chaos Walking series. I have yet to read the second and third book.
  • I don’t receive much ARCs except for e-galleys and that’s where I’m kind of crummy with scheduling. I try to read all the galleys I acquire but sometimes I just forget. That’s why I don’t get too many galleys nowadays because I forget, and I feel bad for not posting it on time of publication/release.
  • Challenges also can dictate what I read next. I tend to space them out through the year, although that often fails for the classics challenge since it takes me longer to read them, and sometimes when I try to pick one up, it’s a little too late in the year. Well, at least I’m trying. Required Reading mini-challenge helps A LOT in making me pick the next book to read, and it helps me pay attention to the older books in the TBR pile.
  • Again on moods — I pick up a book based on moods sometimes. Best example is when I reread This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen right after my brother’s wedding. I had to drop the dystopia reads for a while then because of the love in the air. ;) Valentine’s Day also did that too me. :p
  • Book discussions also tell me what to read next, although I haven’t really participated in that many.
  • Finally, peer pressure. :P It works. Sometimes.

Now that I’ve rambled there…what about you? How do you pick which book to read next?

Completion Compulsion

The series that I obviously had to complete.

A couple of days ago, my bookish Twitter list was buzzing with excitement, which left me a bit at a loss because I wasn’t paying much attention to that lately with the move back to the house and such. It didn’t take me long to figure out why they were excited — it was the release date for City of Fallen Angels, the latest installment in Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series.

I was all: Oh okay.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

I can still wait. I can still wait.

Don’t get me wrong here. I liked The Mortal Instruments series, and it was one of the books that got me reading again. I loved City of Glass, and I thought the ending was just perfect, so the idea of releasing another three more books after the trilogy has ended didn’t sit quite well. Still, I was curious, and that didn’t lessen the love I had for the original trilogy.

But in the time between reading City of Glass and now that City of Fallen Angels has been released, I have read so many other books in between, both good and bad, that somehow, the excitement and need I had to always complete a series has diminished, almost to a little disinterest over the entire thing.

Never mind that I am on book buying fast for Lent. I feel that even if I wasn’t on fasting, I still wouldn’t prioritize buying this. I haven’t even read Clockwork Angel yet — I don’t even have my own copy.

Again, this isn’t anything against the series or Cassandra Clare’s work. In fact, I am still curious about her books, and given the time and money, I’d get them. I’m talking about book series in general. You see, years before, I had this compulsion to complete everything. If it’s a trilogy, I must have all three books and I must read them in order. If a new book comes out, I must read it up to the end, even if some of the books weren’t really that good. I hesitate in buying books that I know are a part of a series because I know that I would need to get ALL books. Sometimes I won’t even read the first book if I know I don’t have the next books with me because I didn’t want to be left hanging. I don’t know why, but I must complete the books. I must see it all the way to the bitter end. (See, this is why I read the Twilight series all the way to Breaking Dawn and even The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.)

Now, I don’t feel that need to complete. Maybe it depends on how much I liked the first two books (I’m setting two because sometimes the first book isn’t always that good and sometimes it picks up on the second book). Sometimes it depends on how much I like the author. Sometimes, it depends on the hype (but I’m very wary of hype nowadays). Maybe this is me being choosy, or growing up in terms of my choice of reading.

Cliffhanger endings are a different story, though, but again, it would depend on how much I loved the first book before I decide to get the next one, if there was a next one.

Have you ever felt the same need I used to, to complete a series no matter how bad it may be? Were there series you used to love but now you don’t feel the need to get them all? Or were you never a series person and you’re happy with just one?

BTT: Multitasking

I apologize for the scarcity of posts here again! I’ve been a bit busy with real life and work, so blogging has kind of taken a back seat, but just a bit! Last night I went to a concert, and while I intended to read in the morning, I wasn’t able to because I slept the morning away after Ash Wednesday mass. Yesterday also marked the first day of my Lenten sacrifice, which is no bookstores. Ergo, no book buying, too, until Easter.

Anyway, I haven’t been posting much non-review posts in the blog, so I thought I’d participate in today’s Booking Through Thursday. :) This week’s question is:

Booking Through Thursday

Do you multi-task when you read? Do other things like stirring things on the stove, brushing your teeth, watching television, knitting, walking, et cetera?

Or is it just me, and you sit and do nothing but focus on what you’re reading?

(Or, if you do both, why, when, and which do you prefer?)

Oh, I definitely do. Okay, it really depends on what kind of book I’m reading and what I’m doing. Examples:

  • When I’m in the gym and I’m not attending class nor feeling like running, I’d hop on a bike, play some music and open a book. I end up finishing quite a lot of pages (and sometimes even books) when I’m doing that. It’s good to get lost in a book to forget about the physical pain of working out. ;)
  • Again, at the gym, or also when I’m at home. When I’m drying my hair, I tend to have a book open in front of me. Usually, this is an ebook, because it’s hard to keep paperbacks open while I hold a hair dryer and a brush. This is slow reading, but it keeps me from being impatient with my hair drying which really takes some time.
  • Sometimes, when I’m brushing my teeth, I read an ebook on my iPod. I only get as far as two or three screens before I finish brushing my teeth.
  • I tend to read while watching television, but that’s only when someone else is watching with me. Right now the TV is just ambient noise.
  • I read a lot in the car, too. In daylight, I read a book, and if it’s night, I read from my iPod. I used to get dizzy doing that, but now I’ve gotten so used to it that I never feel that anymore.
  • I’ve never tried listening to an audiobook so I don’t know how much work I’ll have done with that. I want to try, though.

Usually, I reserve reading on my Kindle or my iPod when I’m multitasking. Actual books, I focus on it because it’s hard to flip pages when your hands are doing something else. :) I hear hardcover books are easier to use for multitasking, because it’s stays flat on the table. I can’t remember if I ever tried that, though.

This just goes to show how much of a multitasker I am in real life. But they say you never really multitask — you just divide your attention over different actions and switch them around for a quick period of time. Agree?

So, do you multitask when reading?