Sunday, April 18, 2010

Back In The Swing Of Reading


(turn page)


(turn page)


Anybody know where those words come from? I call them the 'Peter and Jane' books, because they are all about Peter and Jane (and sometimes their dog, Pat). I still see them around these days but I have no desire to introduce them to Aaron. They were what my mother used to teach us to read but they were dull. There are plenty of other more interesting books available to us now.

I didn't like that series of books but once I got the hang of reading, I read all day long. I have a very distinct memory of a beach holiday with my family where I spent almost the entire time reading. The particular book was literally the size of a phone book!

When we moved to Brisbane (the first time), I got my first taste of libraries. My mother doesn't believe in buying books so the library was like heaven for me. My library card was always maxed out! I read before, after and in between classes at school. Each evening, I'd rush through my homework so that I could get to the real reading. Later at night, I would read in the bathroom so that my mother wouldn't know that I was still awake, and reading.

And then I moved back to Malaysia and there was no more reading.

There aren't any libraries worth going to there. And bookstores? Well, lets just say my mother did a good job brainwashing us with the notion that it was a waste of money to pay money for books when there were libraries. Yes, I know there were no libraries in Malaysia but I was completely brainwashed. The funny thing was that she ended up buying me the odd book now and then.

When we were in Palembang, I started buying books again. Not for me but for Aaron because I felt that we spent so much time in the house that we absolutely needed our own library. So, he's got a mini library.

And now, I've returned to the good old days of reading at every spare moment (apart from when I blog). We go to the library nearly twice a week so between Aaron and I, the house is dotted with books.

So what have I read lately? Usually, I look out for books on babies and young children. So far, two parenting authors that I've really liked are Elizabeth Pantley and Dr William Sears. Yesterday I borrowed "Family First" by Dr Phil McGraw...we'll see how that goes.

I also go for a lot of the cooking books and books on nutrition. Craft books also frequently catch my eye although I never actually find the time to make anything. Its still nice to look through and feel briefly inspired.

In the past, I usually zoomed in on the fiction section first. Twenty years later I now try to limit myself to just one book of fiction a week so that my already scarce reading time can be used for other types of books. So last week, I went for the very mainstream with "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. I enjoyed it but I think I might have built up too much expectation for it after having waiting so long to get my hands on a copy.

I've made it a goal each week to borrow a book on a topic that I wouldn't usually pick. It doesn't matter if I don't end up enjoying it, at least it helps open my mind. This week I picked up PaintShop Pro for Dummies. I wonder how far I'll get with that...

The library is the most wonderful place on earth with books on every topic imaginable. Here's a cute little poem on it.

I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.
~ Anonymous ~


fiona said...

i picked up 'the lost symbol' when in s'pore. it was a nice read n break after the bookless boring days in plm. after which i read 'the solitaire mystery', an old book on loan from a friend. i love libraries too and old books! :)

happy reading!

Mike said...

Although I have read all the Dan Brown books, I'm more of a magazine person. It's an attention span thin ..... look a bunny rabbit!!!

Plus I can use magazine articles for posts.

Bilbo said...

Mike reminded me that, while I used your post as a springboard for my own post for today, I had neglected to comment on yours. My bad. I don't know what I'd do without bookstores and libraries...we still have a very good library system in my county, even though staff, hours, and numbers of books purchased has been cut back. I know that many other services have been cut, but cuts to schools and libraries hurt much more in the long run than in the short. Someday, when the libraries are just a memory, we'll be a much dumber and sadder place.

Niam said...

hmn, agree with you that library in Malaysia is just not on par with most other countries...but when you come back to Penang in July, you should go visit the Toy Library and you will be impressed (i hope)

NomadicExpat said...

There's a library in Ipoh that my parents used to bring us to but then, the books are limited. There's also the school library.. but then, my parents spoilt us and bought us books. We had a mini library like Aaron. I can't borrow books from the library because I bring them to bed with me and god knows where those books have been to! :-P You're more than welcome to my loot.