Once a Bookworm…
I have been reading a lot—by choice, though you could go all sour and dour on me and say it’s not like I have other options where I live.
I’m staying in this old apartment which, though far from tiny, doesn’t seem to have been built with the 21st century in mind. Sure, there’s a kitchen with a sink, refrigerator, single-burner electric stove, and lots of pantry space. There’s a bathroom with a shower, sink, and bathtub. There’s an already installed aircon in the bedroom, a semi-big closet, a queen-sized bed, and a bedside table which, along with my laptop and lots of books, scented candles, and pencils, is what passes for a home office these days. In the living room, there’s a comfy couch, a portable dining table with chairs for four, and a huge bookshelf bursting with books. Finally, there’s an old TV which you’d have to hammer with a fist a bit to get it to work. Objectively, it’s not too bad. In fact, toss in a microwave and maybe a quirky detail or two—say boat seating— and it’ll be home sweet home. But because there’s an obvious absence of technology—negated only by my pocket wifi and my laptop, I can’t imagine friends beating a path to my door.
When I first came here, I left the TV on as often as I could. When you live alone, the silence can be sometimes deafening. I’ve learned to live with it, though. In fact, I have not turned on the TV in quite a while. I spend my time hammering away on my keyboard, catching up on friends’ blogs, reading, and daydreaming. Sometimes, I go for late afternoon or early morning walks. The metro isn’t very lovable when everybody’s out. The smog gets so thick I sometimes imagine I could cut at it with a knife.
But, I digress. I like reading. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it enriches. I like that it’s cheap, best of all. I’m saving up for the places on my bucket list: Scotland, Greece, Ireland, Egypt, Switzerland, Copenhagen, Rome, Spain, Japan, and maybe too, Africa. The list is ambitious, I know, but hey, I don’t think I’d be kicking the bucket anytime soon. I have more than enough time to make things happen.
I remember reading an article on Senator Miriam Santiago. She says she has only one vice: reading; the rest are just destructive habits. So yeah, until I suddenly win the lottery or find myself mysteriously on the receiving end of untold riches, I’ll be more than happy to sleep, work, and read days away.
Curiously, I used to be very obsessive about reading. In high school, I easily finished three to four novels a day. On weekends, I finished more, sometimes reading by the light of the moon—furtively because my stepmom was quite strict with bedtime, turning off all the house lights by midnight. These days, I read a bit but in increments. Life often gets in the way of reading, and I very much resent it. Nonetheless, I managed to finish quite a number of books this month. Here’s the one that sent me wailing at 10am. Curses! Who knew reading could be emotionally draining?