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!
Week 2: How did you become a reader? Why do you read?
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:
- Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
- Mina V. Esguerra‘s books (hello, fan club! :D)
- Amazing Grace by Tara FT Sering
- Trese series by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo
- The Filipino Heroes League by Paolo Fabregas
- Naermyth by Karen Francisco
- Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan – read this in school, and begs a reread!
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?
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