No Reading No Care

No Reading No Care.

Except not completely.

It’s a new high for my reading slump this year. The other difference is that I do not feel as bothered by it. I thought developing an affinity for comic books and graphic novels will offset the lack of novels in my reading progress, but turns out 2017 is just not a reading year for me. And it’s okay.

Of course this desire will never ever go away. As in other pursuits, this feeling taught me that it’s okay to go with what I feel like doing and not stick to what I’ve been accustomed to. What it gives is an opportunity for me to miss the activity and something for me to look forward to doing in the future.

But the itch to buy is another matter. These tweets were in the last 48 hours. I have not sold a lot in my online store yet I’ve been getting more than what I have let go. Which is not new to you, if you’ve been following me long enough.

I can channel my overall indifference into plunging into reading but real life hardly agrees. Thus my wish, which I believe have always been mine, since I became an adult:

 

More Books, More Fun – The Online Store!

After years of planning it in my head, I woke up one morning with a desire to find some of my books a new home. I thought of it as early as when I discovered I bought duplicate titles not on purpose, and when I visited storage boxes and having had no memory at all of buying some books (the dreaded “Meron na pala ako nito???” bookhoarder lapse.)

Thus the birth of More Books, More Fun. I am used to managing Facebook pages but it turns out handling a virtual shop isn’t all I easily thought it would be. I’m having fun though, don’t get me wrong!

mbmf

My small bookshop in the vast Facebook sphere.

I uploaded close to 300 books and truth be told, they didn’t make a noticeable dent. In time. After almost three weeks, sales are picking up, and by the end of June I may just donate the ones left unsold. The reason for this is, no matter how insignificant the space they made in our tiny home, there’s no returning to shelves or boxes anymore. There’s a plan to do another do-over of the books that didn’t make the “ibebenta na ba kita?” cut, and a tiny part of me is excited.

Parting is so bittersweet, you know? This may seem so dramatic, and I know it is. For one, a friend who can only shake her head with my hoarding once told me good thing I don’t move every two to three years. It’s gonna be hard to hoard with that kind of lifestyle. While it was fun, when the reality of urban living hits you hard, you really have to.

So if you are into welcoming second hand books for reasonable prices, please visit the page and drop a comment or two!

March is for books that are not mine!

EDITED!!! — Well hello there, March. February was a good month for me, reading-wise, even with my flurry of activities.

I said when the year started I won’t dabble into reading challenges but may do customized ones to spice it up a bit. For this month, I thought of cleaning my borrowed books pile. One reason why my TBR pile is too high is because I love borrowing books (taking dibs, convincing people to lend me, however you want to put it!) from friends.

A grainy shot of books generously entrusted to me by fellow booklovers. Which one should I read first?

books not mine pt2

Two more! And yes, that’s my hand making a cameo 😉

Some of these books I borrowed months and months ago. And while I have not heard any of them tell me to return a book or two, it might be high time for me to finally dabble into them. What are these books, you ask?

I have my book club friend Gabi’s copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker for a year and a half now. I started it right then but wasn’t able to pull through. This is the kind of book where you have to be in the mood for, and I have yet to nail that mood again. 🙂 This month though, let’s, let’s!

I also have The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana & Alexander which Gabi also lent me July of last year. I started Bronze two weeks ago but stopped at around page 40. I haven’t gone to the blossoming of the lovestory yet!

The Angelmaker is from my friend at the office, Luke. This will be my first Harkaway read, if ever. I have an e-book of The Gone Away World and many said while they are not connected at all, it’s always best to start Harkaway with Angelmaker. Let’s see. Luke will leave the country in a few months so what better time to read this book than now so I could return it before he packs his things.

From last month’s book session, I took dibs on The Patmans of Sweet Valley from Nerry. It’s my favorite Sweet Valley saga edition (where I never forgot that Alice and Hank were canon!). It made me think of the entire Sweet Valley franchise and how good we all had it back then with the tons of installments of Sweet Valley Twins and High (my two favorites in the series). I wish we can still find old editions. Reprints, though few, are never the same.

And oh, The Love Slave. It’s been a long-running gag in my book club that all kinds of guilty pleasure books be categorized under the The Love Slave umbrella. This book is an Ex Libris Philippines symbolic tome, mind you! 😉 Since our theme of sorts last month was about love in any of its forms, Tata had to whip it out of her bag straight to my lap. Of the pile, I may really pick this one first.

When the movie version of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas hit Philippine cinemas, I wanted to read it but was not keen on buying a copy. My friend Celina brought her copy during one of many football matches we watch live and said I could read it first. That was September 2012. I remember trying reading the first page and giving up right then. The last time I saw Celina I said the book is still with me and she encouraged me keeping it because she’s not ready to read it yet either. 😉

Main Battle Tank and No Country For Old Men are from another friend at work, Diego. I want to believe he gave them to me already because he’s done reading, but I’ll double-check. I don’t think he gave them to me because I might be interested; for all I know he sees me as a human bin where books can be dropped off when you’re done reading. Well, it works for me! I have no keen interest in military warfare at all, although finally owning Code Name Verity and Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy might spin me toward this direction. Might, because these are YA fiction books and Main Battle Tank is non-fiction! At any rate, let’s see. No Country is something I started but had to put off because of a zombie novel [which I also haven’t finished — are we close to defining mediocre reading now?]. If I don’t finish it this month, I may next month because of another loosely planned reading theme.

In addition: D.C. Noir is from my friend Shei (the same person whose HP and the Deathly Hallows I’m still keeping somewhere here in the house!) which she smugly told me she found in Booksale for 5-repeat-5 pesos! An Akashic noir book for five pesos!!! I borrowed it right before I went to DC for training last year but forgot it in the office. Boo, me!

The Natural History of the Senses is something my friend Thess has been telling me about since that lull in a meeting of our employee association four years ago. At an employee gathering last month, she handed it to me. It looks so new I wonder how crazy careful she must be when reading a book. I must take care of it really well. 😉

So there. I will not be able to wipe them off clean from my to-read pile but finishing a few will be awesome.

What’s on your reading plate this month?

Judayski’s Best of 2012 (And A Few Unfortunate Events)

The year is about to end so what better way to bookend it than a list of great, wonderful things I experienced this year.  I may have had setbacks which I took really seriously but overall, it’s a very blessed year for yours truly.

best of lifeBest Event: Turning 30.  It’s just a number, yes, but it’s a big one for me.  I threw the  imaginary blueprint I formed in my twenties and created a new one in my head.  It didn’t feel much differently, save for new emotional depths I now have (I swear, hahaha).

Best Work-Related Event: More stability within my team, compounded by the addition of a new member.  I suffered a great loss toward the end of 2011 but five months later, I knew I made the right choice, considering all aspects surrounding  the dynamics of my immediate workplace.  Ah, basta.

Most Wasted Opportunity: I wasn’t able to sustain my social media volunteer work with Visayan Forum Foundation.  I thought it’s going to be breezy and handy but it didn’t come easy.  Maybe it’s the subject matter; maybe I chose an advocacy that while very timely and worthy, isn’t necessarily my cup of tea.  Sayang.  But now I know, and I can cross it off my list.

Best Azkals/Local Football Moments:  (1) Advancing to the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup  (2) Global FC’s UFL championship game vs. Loyola Meralco Sparks last June — oh, my emotions that night, (3)  winning the Peace Cup.

Terrible Football Moments: (1) Loss to Singapore in the semi-finals stage of Suzuki Cup.  If we were trampled early on, it would have been easier to accept.  But I know everyone did everything they can.  (2) The sexual harassment case against Angel Guirado and Lexton Moy.  Come on, I’m a woman who will fight you to the death if you offend me, but I can also see what’s overreaction when I see one.  Enough said., (3) Global FC’s loss to Stallion FC in the United Football Cup championship.

Best Outcome of Football Fangirling: My football core group.  We dearly call ourselves Fandesals, the meaning of which will be kept to ourselves. 🙂 I love the friendship we formed that transcended football (o, Rach, transcend!).  I love all the games we watched together but the better part of it is our “debriefing” sessions.  I love you all, guys.

best of futbolBest TV show discovery:  The Newsroom.  Consider this: Aaron Sorkin.  News.  I don’t need to say more.  Runners up : Suits, seasons 1 and 2.  The Walking Dead season 3, after a crapfest called season 2.

Best (and Worst!) Physical Activity I Participated In:  Merrell Trail Run on June 2, 2012.  I thought my Corregidor experience was it but no!  For this one, we braved 10 kilometers of extremely muddy, mountainous trail in  Timberland Heights.  For four freakin’ hours.  It’s like a military bootcamp.  Immediately after that, I can barely feel my lower extremities.  When I got home after the event, I slept for 14 hours straight.  But the best part? The experience with my friends.  I will do it again, if the chance presents itself.  Seriously.

Best Out of Town Trip: Bacolod, last June.  Sure, it was for football, but it was also a chance to explore that interesting city.  We had an amazing host who brought us to most of the worthy spots.  The best part was the food trip.  I think I gained the size of a toddler after that trip.  Runner Up : Baguio in March with my Mom.  We stayed inside the Embassy compound.  The fact that Baguio is my second favorite city in the Philippines is why it’s great to begin with.  No ghosts, contrary to rumors, so it’s cool.

Best It’s-Long-Overdue Action:  I had glasses fitted.  I no longer squint just to read all my correspondence!

Best Charity Work Out of Just Using My Big Mouth: Sending five scholars to UP from the proceeds of our The Avengers screening.  I just sold tickets to a movie people wanted to watch anyway.  I’m so proud of my book club, Ex Libris Philippines, for staging this project.  Next year ulit!

Best Achievement:  Successfully going through a six-month book-buying ban.  I’m so proud of myself.  I didn’t die!  However…

Tiny Bibliophile-Related Setback:  I was allowed to buy books on July 1 so between that time and this writing, I amassed 77 books already.  That number excludes the books generously given to me by my former boss, I won on giveaways, and given by friends as gifts.  I don’t know what to say.  This is my eternal love, in case you just met me today.

Worst Losses: Deaths of an uncle and an aunt who loved me dearly.  My familial setup is not your boring and conventional kind so growing up, having people who care for you genuinely is one of the best coping mechanisms. One of my bestfriends also lost her mother and as I said, this kind of loss for us is a different league of its own.  My mentor’s husband, with whom I shared the same birthday and never failed to make me remember it, also passed on.  A consolation in my heart is that I know, they are with my father now in heaven.  They can swap stories up there.

Worst Abandonment Experience: Denoy leaving for a new job over at the other compound — five kilometers away.  I know, abandonment is over the top, but what do you want me to use?  I was left behind?  Okay, that will do.  Seriously, when he left in July, I thought it’s going to be easy.  My friend got a job he actually wanted to do!  But hey, it wasn’t easy.  Imagine losing the most constant, everyday fixture in your life for five years.  It helped that I avoided going to the 2nd floor since he moved.  For a time I was at a loss, even if I know he’s just a phone call away.  It sounds corny, but even if we annoy each other most of the time, he’s like a gum under my shoe that just won’t go away.  I still miss him especially when there’s something — serious or shallow — I want to tell, a guy problem I want his opinion on…and then I’ll realize he’s not there anymore, available by 11:30 a.m.  I have other male friends but they can never replace him.  Anyway, lately, I think I have accepted it fully.

Best Full-Size Aortic Pump Moment: I have moved on from SG.  After a year.  He’s not coming back and even if he does, it’s better this way.  I never regretted the last seven years (especially since not every single day of those seven years was just about him — I had diversions, LOL).  But seriously, it’s fine now.  I know that the lines will always be open, and he constantly proved that to me, so I take comfort in that and I’m ready to face the other direction.  Time to find a new one.  Pwede na. Bigyan nyo na ako ng listahan ng pagpipilian.🙂 I have short-listed names.  Hahaha.

Super Duper Bestest Part of 2012:  I’M STILL ALIVE.  Healthy, employed, loved.  Nothing can beat that.

So, how’s your 2012?

My 2011 Reading Report

I was able to read 60 books in 2011!  That’s a big leap from my previous totals and I couldn’t be happier.  I even think I could have done more had it not been for other activities (hint *football* hint) that took my time but I shrugged it away.  I was happy when I did the other thing, anyway.  I will just make up for it this year.   After my update last April and a progress report last October, here are the rest of the books I read/re-read in 2011:

The last one I finished was Unpacking My Library: Writers and their Books.  I borrowed it from Gabi during our last book session.  It has always been a hobby, a guilty pleasure if you may, to look at bookshelves, whether of other people, bookshops, or libraries.  For this edition, thirteen novelists gladly shared their bookshelves to us.  It’s good to know that most of them are like us, regular people, in managing their shelves and piles of books.

Most of my reads at the end of 2011 were re-reads.  Goosebumps was a staple when I was in grade school but most of those I read were borrowed from friends, so I took the chance to re-read the ones that stood out to me.  One of them was a book I wasn’t able to read before but always wanted to: Be Careful What You Wish For – only because the antagonist’s name is Judith. 🙂

Overall, it’s a good reading year for me.

For 2012, my reading goals are the following:

~ Read 100 books.

~ Participate in online reading challenges.

~ Participate in a 24-hour read-a-thon.

~ Try to maintain my book blog.

~ Make it to all book sessions of Ex Libris Philippines (and diligently document each session!)

~ Be more active on GoodReads and reach out to more fellow book lovers.

~ DO NOT BUY A SINGLE BOOK FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2012.  My book acquisitions for this period could only come in form of gifts from friends, either as a physical book or a gift certificate.  I guess, my goal is not to shell out money for books seeing that I still have hundreds (not exaggerating) in my TBR pile.  However, I can only pledge to do it for 6 months.  I might die if I stretch it to a whole year. 🙂

Here’s to a great year of reading!

Loot Report

‘Tis the season of book sales in the Philippines!  Of course, I cannot not let them pass, regardless of my purchasing power.  Hahaha!!!  According to my list, I bought almost a hundred books since January.  The latest additions?  Here they are:

I bought them in Powerbooks Live! (Greenbelt) on Saturday after our book session.  It was only the second day of their month-long sale so there were still lots of great stuff.  It also made me happy that it was a jampacked bookshop, with people carrying their basketful of books!  Here’s what I took from the awesome tables:

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou (P100)

Horns – Joe Hill (P100)  I’ve been waiting for a trade copy of this book and not only I found one that night, I also scored it for a super cheap price.

The Prince of Mist – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (P100)

Common Wealth: Economics For A Crowded Planet – Jeffrey D. Sachs (P100)  Graduate class nostalgia! 🙂

The Evolution of God – (P100)  Seems interesting!

The Mayor of Castro Street – Randy Shilts (P100)   I did not finish watching the film Milk (Sean Penn, etc.)  I will read this one then go back to the film. Feel ko lang. 🙂

Don’t Bargain With The Devil – Sabrina Jeffries (P50)  My first actual SJ book!  Heard lots of good stuff about her writing.  Now I can try her.

Beware A Scots Revenge – Sabrina Jeffries (P50)

Today, we were allowed to go home early from work because of the weather.  I decided to swing by Robinsons Ermita to scour the shelves of Powerbooks.  Sadly, I didn’t find anything interesting to buy (and that says a lot because I’m too easy when it comes to books).  Refusing to go home without a purchase, I trooped to Booksale and got the following:

Emil in the Soup Tureen – Astrid Lindgren (P45)  It’s a children’s story book.  I read that Astrid was a legendary children’s book writer from Sweden so I will give her a try.

Women, Work & The Art of Savoir Faire – Mireille Guiliano (P75)  I enjoyed Mireille’s French Women…books so I think this is also an interesting one.  Let’s see.

The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde (P75)  I’m just adding to my Fforde pile.  I already have Shades of Grey, First Among Sequels, and The Well of Lost Plots.

The Museum of Dr. Moses – Joyce Carol Oates (P55)  I read one Oates venture into the suspense genre (Freaky Green Eyes) and I thought it’s okay so I picked this up.

I still have three weeks to add to my increasing number of books.  Next, I’m planning to troop to less-frequented bookshop locations (Harrison Plaza, Farmer’s) and big venues as well, in hopes of finding more great buys.  Let’s not forget that by September, Manila International Book Fair is coming!  Woot woot!

major backlog

I was creating my book list (in a spreadsheet lang naman, nothing fancy) for ExL Philippines when I noticed, barely halfway through it, that I have not read MOST of my books. I had the most number of books bought in 2004 (167), second place lang ang 2007 (102 – and if you have been reading me, nakakapagtaka kung bakit reklamo ako ng reklamo na lagi akong walang pera, ugh!).

Anyway, I have literally HUNDREDS of books to be read. And I cannot bring myself to stop buying. Like this month, on sale ang Powerbooks.

By the way, I have to ask how it would go kasi they have a promo din where if it’s your birthday month, you automatically get 40% discount on your book purchases that are less than 10K. I doubt if they would allow this on top of the automatic 20% on all books as part of their January sale. The sale kasi will run from January 11 to 31. Eh paano yan, birthday month ko din ito? I hope I don’t forget that question when I pass by Powerbooks in the days to come. And speaking of Powerbooks, their branch in Robinson’s Ermita will move to its new location at the 4th floor of Midtown Wing (sandwiched between Timezone and Hotshots) effective February 1, 2008.

So, it will be really hard to impose a ceasefire on book-buying. Not when book sales pop up like crazy and friends gave you bookstore GCs as birthday gifts.

Now that I’m certain I’ll have more time to read non-academic books, I am thinking if I should go with the ‘first bought, first read’ system or stick with the ‘whatever I fancy’ rule. Or maybe I can do a ‘finish all that I’ve started’. See, it’s not as if I never flipped through most of my books after buying them. Marami sa kanila ang nabasa ko na probably until the hundredth or so pages then nagsawa ako and picked up a new one. Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. Not to sound snooty but I always have an easy time ‘re-acquainting’ myself with a book that I’ve put down, kahit matagal na since I stopped reading it. Flipping through the first chapter and the last one where I left it off usually does the trick, something that takes me only about 10 minutes to do. After that, I’m ready to continue the journey.

Oh well, before I end, let me just share a simple line from Lipstick Jungle. This was from the mother of one of the protagonists, a high-powered corporate woman – Of course, I wanted you to be successful. But you do not have to rule the world to be successful. I just wanted you to be happy.

Wow.