Tagalog comics, English novels, Japanese manga, TV series subtitles, advertisements, newspaper reports, online article bits, and more: there are a lot of text that we read every day. They can be mundane, profound, inspiring, heartbreaking, or whatever the reader incorporates to them. However, there are times that reading is usually related to the opportunity of escape. When one grabs a novel of his or her liking, there is a great chance that that person chose such for a quick relief from the routines of his or her life. Many think that reading is only associated with the reading of novels or stories, but it is not the case.
Text is all around us. They convey different messages as they are in different forms. This is just a thought that I wish to explore in the coming days. What do you think?
Nakakalungkot na bagay na ang panitikan ay di gaya ng ibang aralin na nasusukat ang bisa sa tulong ng mga pagsubok at pagsusulit. Ang ating mga pagsubok at pagsusulit ay sumusukat lamang sa pagkakatanda sa mga kaalamang gaya nito: Sino ang may-akda ng ganoon? Ano ang pangalan ng pangunahing tauhan? Ilan ang anak ni Ganoo’t Ganito? Ano ang nangyari sa panganay? Sa bunso? Nguni’t walang pagsusulit na sumusukat sa nagiging bisa sa katauhan. At ano ang mga bisang ito? Marahil, lalo niyang nauunawaan ang kanyang sarili ngayon. Marahil, lalo siyang nalalapit sa katotohanan, sa kagandahan, sa liwanag.
– Genoveva Edroza-Matute (1956)
It is unfortunate that literature is not like other subjects the efficacy of which can be measured through experiments and tests. Our tests can only measure how well we remember facts like: Who wrote that? Who is the main character? How many children does So-and-so have? What happened to the eldest child? The youngest? But no test can measure the impact of literature on the person. And what are the effects of literature? Perhaps the student will become more considerate of other people. Perhaps she now understands herself more. Perhaps she brings herself closer to the truth, to beauty, and to the light. (translation directly quoted from Caroline Hau’s work on The Problem of Consciousness in the book Necessary Fictions, 2000)
Books weren’t really my personal companion growing up. I did enjoy some colorful illustrations from my fairy tale books or school readings. Pictures spoke more to me than words did. Maybe because I was still learning my letters, but still this was me until that “magical” moment came. A time that made my twice a month fascination with the local comic books.
Who would have thought that there were treasures hidden along the crowded piles of paper on the book stand just a few minutes away from home? No one else except my father. 😀
Unlike my parents who grew up with many Filipino comic books available around them, I had to search for my copies. It was difficult for an elementary student to do that then. 😦 It was in the late 1990s to early 2000 when I walked around the house and annoyed my father to get me one. When he brought home these komiks, I cheered up and found myself on the floor reading through the pages, excited! The characters introduced me to funny, intellectual dialogues, with some strange set-ups in between. Some supernatural scenarios and even superheroes that are closer to me because of the Philippine style added to them. The quirky faces came alive and made the stories more interesting though those moments were short-lived. Because the publication of local komiks was on the decline. Many children preferred getting stuck with their TV sets on or read through the more expensive, foreign comic books.
Personally, there is a different feeling whenever I flip through pages of books. The new and the old ones, I tend to be more attracted to the latter. The smell of old, thrift shop books are intoxicating, and yes it’s strange but I sniff through some of the pages. It’s just me 😉
Every reader has his/her own style to pick. I think the uniqueness of the writers (and their stories) is also searching for the right, equally distinct reader. It’s like whenever you try to find that perfect spot to spend your night, that’s how you choose your book. Something to comfort or to accompany you through sleepless nights or sweet daydreams.
Just got back from my online book hunt. I got these secondhand books again from ChapterIXbooksandmore 🙂
I have to return reading some good books. I have finished re-reading some from my own collection. Ray Bradbury, Roald Dahl, Grimms Brother, Edgar Allan Poe, and other favorites comforted me. Here is for another great summer ahead. 🙂