I can’t remember when I started to love reading books. All I know is that, I know my A B C’s just before I started going to school. Grandma taught me. I didn’t even know I was going to school. I just thought I’m in a room full of kids playing. Mom didn’t tell me that THAT was school. Mom didn’t even tell me that my real name is Rouselle not Sheilla, much less tell me that where I’m going is a place called SCHOOL.
But I do remember having my Abakada booklet Mom bought me. And this Aesop’s Fables and Phonics book with accompanying cassette tape. I listen to it everyday. I even memorized by heart all of the stories from Aesop’s Fables. Mom also has this huge collection of Reader’s Digest. My favorite parts are Laughter is the best Medicine and All in a Day’s Work even if I don’t understand any of it. My older sister and brother went to St. Paul’s College in Elementary and I remember leafing through their school books in their rooms when they’re away. Mom will make me some coffee and I will start reading books. I remember drinking coffee as young as 6 years old, I think, because whenever Mom makes coffee, I’d watch her on tiptoes with half of my head on the table. Maybe Mom didn’t think it was bad. Anyway, it was just a teeny weeny coffee. Very light-colored that I can see through it. My older sister has a collection of this tattered Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Beezuz which I desperately try to figure out the story because a lot of the pages were missing and also this Nancy Drew book collection. My older brother also has his own collection of Hardy Boys books although he hardly ever read it. Mom just buys those books for them.
My Dad was a Filipino teacher and he has this collection of Filipino story books. I’ve read Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo over a cup of coffee just before we started discussing it in high school. During high school, I was completely amazed by English Literature. I loved Edgar Allan Poe and Beowulf. I loved doing compositions, Haiku’s, writing for plays. I love listening to my English teacher tell stories about King Arthur and the Greek gods and goddesses. Then my Filipino teacher would discuss Filipino Epics that would make me so absorbed that I feel like I’m actually watching a story unfold right before my eyes. Believe it or not, I even enjoy reading Bible stories from my Values Education class in high school. Anything that involves stories, I’d get hooked right away.
My high school consisted of collecting Sweet Valley books (Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, The Unicorn Club). Then Mom started collecting John Grisham and Sidney Sheldon books which I also read. Then came the Tagalog pocketbooks that Mom buys, which I also read. Then I became interested reading Classic books and Children’s books. And the list goes on…
I have a dream for myself. I want to have a house with a huge library. I want to have a book/coffee shop. I want that book shop to have an activity corner for the kids. I want to have a story-telling day. I want to encourage the kids to read.
Just thinking about it makes me all giddy and excited. 🙂
And I thank my Mom for her big influence. 😉