On Reading

"When you read a book, you don't just read, you journey. This is why at first, one is always regretful upon nearing the last page, thinking that it all ends there. But it is when we look into our minds after reading that we find the new world we discovered and with dawning realization see the truth of the matter:
...that the journey never ends."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Allow Me to Explain

In this life, I have never had the best of memories. By that I don't mean my life is only filled with sadness and tragedy I couldn't bear it. I mean this quite literally. I really do have a bad memory. There are only a handful of events that I recall with vivid clarity and I believe these are the moments that are a big part of who I am today.

There has never been a time when I was not fascinated whenever I recall the story of how I read my first word. I was in preschool, spacing out as I always do while the teacher went on and on, teaching my good, listening classmates. I have always been, however, a visual person, and as such, even though my mind was wandering, my eyes were glued to the board wherein colorful and pretty drawings were drawn with effort for our benefit. My eyes focused in on a picture of a koala, even though at the time I had no idea that's what it was, (Because what preschool kid knows what a koala is? Not me.) and its name written beside it. Slowly, I went over it letter by letter, pronouncing each sound.

"Kkkkk," I started. On and onto each letter I proceeded, until I reached the end and put together the sounds from memory. "K-o-a-l-a," I said, and at that moment, the realization that I have read my first word dawned on me so strongly that I had to stop myself from going out to tell the world of my discovery. (Of course when I went home, I babbled endlessly about it to my mother, who isn't exactly the world, I know, but for 4 year old me, I'm pretty sure she was.) It was then that my hobby of collecting books began. And with that endless stories came to life in my head with each word that I read.

Reading, to me, has always been a privilege. It's an honor to dive into these characters' lives and be fascinated with them, to hurt along with them, and most importantly, to learn as they do. A lot of people equate reading with escaping, and in a way, they are right, for reading does take us to places. However, I believe that escaping is not the essence of reading. The center of it all is the power of words, their power to convey messages and lessons that remain with us and change us without us knowing it, even as we flip that last page and, sometimes (who am I kidding, often) reluctantly, come back to reality.

The purpose of this blog is to in turn relay to the world, as I wanted to when I read my first word, the impacts of each book that I come across and general thoughts regarding books, reading and words because often their importance is overlooked. This is for my fellow readers who understand, for non-readers who hope to understand, and, if for nothing else, just for the record, for the generations to come, for them to see that ours is not only the age of technology, of social media, but also the age of reading.