Archive for the 'books' Category

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while i share with my favorite author jeanette winterson the same sentiments about books, roberto bolaño just might convince me to consider e-books.

let me explain.

winterson says in her column:

Why do I not like e-books?

   I am a romantic and prefer the full-strength version that you can drop in the bath. They have not made a water-proof e-book yet.
  And when you leave a book dropped in the bath on the side to dry, it has a survivor-feel to it. It has a history. Your e-book can never have a history because it can’t age as you do,

  As techies are freaked out by anything that isn’t ‘new’, the idea of a book ageing is probably horrible.
  But not to me.
  And you can’t write your name in the front. Or get your lover to write their favourite bit in the back.
  And so on.
   But hey, it’s progress I’m told.

that was something i just read yesterday, barely a week after the last online discussion i had with other avid readers about the subject, one where my final word was i don’t think i’d ever warm up to the idea of e-books.

until this afternoon. when i found roberto bolaño’s 2666 in the bookshop downstairs, all 912 pages of it. and i imagined carrying this book in my bag must feel like lugging around a terracotta tile sandwiched between two special edition dvd’s of moulin rouge. but i badly wanted to read the darn thing.

so this is the day i considered e-books. the day i also realized that i’m physically too decrepit to bear the weight of books over 550 pages.

new habit, old habit, gone habit

new habit: running

since i decided one day some weeks ago that i will start running every day, there hasn’t been a day when i didn’t run. ok, counting the treadmill too on rainy days (cut me some slack, it’s monsoon season here). alright, i exaggerated. i honestly never missed on regular days, but i can’t run on days when i extend shift. unless i pull a superwoman routine and decide i can still run despite the 12-hour work schedule. maybe i can, but i won’t.

gone habit: smoking

because i realized at the start that i couldn’t even sustain running 2 minutes without losing my breath (i am that pathetic), i quit smoking. i’m not a health nut. i just thought i should give myself a chance to run 5k straight then get back to smoking if i still feel like it.

old habit: reading 

that is, the old habit that i seem to have left behind. there are strange explanations here that i can’t seem to form into words, but just know that this running and quitting smoking made me want to read as much as i used to. and in these past weeks, i finished reading the following:

which is a very good pace for me. a very good pace indeed. please consider that i haven’t picked up a single book to read in the past 9 months.

book fetish (addendum)

about two weeks ago, the custom-made bed with shelf headboard was delivered to our flat. since only chief was home to welcome the furniture to our nuclear family, he unloaded books and dvd’s from our renegade balikbayan boxes and proceeded to arrange them in regimental order.

just last week, i decided to browse through the items he arranged and came upon a strange title among the books. the facts behind the helsinki roccamatios, a novel by yann martel (of the life pf pi fame), hardbound, its jacket in pristine condition and the plastic wrap still intact. and i was immediately struck by this heart-warming idea that chief is exerting some effort to read the kinds of stories that i like. so i left it at that.

the facts about the helsinki roccamatios by yann martel

the facts about the helsinki roccamatios by yann martel

then just three days ago, i decided to go up to chief and ask him where he got the book. he looks me over quizzically and says, “it’s not mine.”

i return the puzzled look to say, “it’s not mine either.”

“don’t be absurd, it’s yours.”

“no, it’s not.”

“it’s yours.”

“it can’t be mine. i have no yann martel book of my own.”

“yes you have, and there it is.”

as i quickly pull the book off the shelf, my eyes immediately catch the colors on its jacket and i am suddenly filled with recognition.

“yep, it’s mine, all right.”

this is supposed to join the other books from this sale-frenzied entry.

i think i have a lot of inventorying to do. and some cruel learning that i can’t keep buying books and forgetting about them. oh, those poor things, neglected and so new. they’re just screaming to be taken out of the plastic wrap…

but they were all so beautiful and so tempting on that sale rack, i can’t just leave them there! they need happy homes. like our littered shelf.

compiling the top whatever greatest comic book heroes and villains

lifted from my flippant ditzy blog i am shallow. please don’t judge me. because i am not a book.

stepping out of the cinema on the premier night of x-men origins: wolverine, it suddenly occured to me to ask my husband about his preference: marvel or d.c.? he said he doesn’t take sides on that one.

d.c. vs. marvel. would you like to pick a side?

would you like to pick a side?

well, i lean towards d.c.. but that’s just me. not to say that i don’t like characters outside of the d.c. universe, but if i had to choose just one over the other, my choice is very clear. but, of course, there are other publishers, other remarkable characters which are worth more than your two cents in comic book conversations. and don’t forget manga and their die-hard fanboys.

so with that train of thought starting my morning today, i decided to post some of the lists i have collected, counting down the greatest comic book characters of all time. many just enumerate the top ten, others go as far as two hundred. for this blog’s mediocre purpose, let’s just stick to the top ten or twenty of some of these “hallowed” lists.

the rest of it here.

addendum: when in a world of discontent, immerse in reading

i failed to mention two other books i finished from july this year.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being
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i’d probably place this after Magical Thinking. i typically like works permeated with existential themes, especially those that freely use philosophy as its groundwork, but perhaps because it had taken me so long to buy then finally read this book, and so many praises have been sung to me about it by my peers, the reading experience somehow turned lackluster and anti-climactic.

otherwise, i would have liked it very much.

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
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i have to rank it beneath Unbearable Lightness. the concept is spectacular, the storytelling is superb, but the theme doesn’t exactly hit home for me right now. perhaps if i were in my younger state of mind and feeling insecure about so many things, i would have preferred it over any of the other books i read this year.

preference relies so much on timing.