Still on books and Ondoy
i realized that i have had a lot of posts about my kindle.
it is still amazing to me how this little gadget has changed my life completely but not my reading habits.
i want to share my story on how i became an e-book convert. but first, let me give you a little background on my book affair.
before owning the kindle, i used to really love going to book stores and second-hand book shops. i used to have membership cards to all the leading bookstores in this country.
my love affair with books started when i was little. my dad would buy me books instead of toys. i used to hate it cuz i preferred toys like a normal kid does, but since i have these books (and i’m not talking about those kiddie alphabet ones. i mean books like the little prince, hope for the flowers, etc. and even encyclopedias and deep, complicated books about hypnosis, the paranormal, and all sorts of weird stuff) and these books are just piling up, so i devoured them. the instant i learned how to read, i read them. i think my mom thought
some most of the books i was reading at the time were not age appropriate so she finally introduced me to the world of sweet valley. i think i was 9 at the time. by the time i was 11, i have read all of the books in the sweet valley series including the special edition ones like their diaries and their sagas and all throughout their college life. i’ve also finished the babysitter’s club and was bored by it. i began to steal my mom’s romances. all bad things considered, one thing i have to be thankful for it was that it improved my english. a lot.
my aunt became concerned about my reading materials so she leant me hers. she started me up with archie comics but i quickly flew past it and she opened up her whole library without censure. i became immersed in the world of sidney sheldon, judith krantz, fern michaels, danielle steel, john grisham and all these greats in the 90s, and i read ’em all before i even finished highschool. i also started on the whole harry potter craze early. my books were even the british versions.
my aunt even gifted me with an ebookman (an oldschool ebook reader, even before the kindle’s time) in the late 90’s or early 2000’s, i think, but since ebooks then were scarce, i barely got the chance to use it. it just gathered up dust. (i still have it tho, somewhere in my room). i used it a lot to read fanfictions tho.
needless to mention most of my lunch money would go to books. it helped that my grandmother, mother, and aunts valued reading too so they always bought me anything i wanted from the bookstore. and i do mean anything.
when i started college, i was fluent with Paulo Cuelho’s works, along with gabriel garcia marquez’, lanie esquivel, nicholas sparks and all these greats that i just dont have the time, space and energy to mention here.i like to think that they were my own contribution to our family library. and this time i was in first name basis with the clerks and attendants in the book stores near me. my best subject in college was always english literature, even taking up the toughest professor in the subject and passing his class with flying colors. i strongly suspected then that i was training in the wrong profession! (i was studying political science and nearing graduation then)
and then lawschool happened. all my free time were spent reading law provisions and cases and law books and reviewers. not that i didnt have time for fictions. i did. it was just that i was reading at a much slower pace. not that it tempered my book buying spree. everytime i was stressed about law school or depressed by a recitation or an exam result or even to celebrate for good marks, i bought books. i bought a lot of fictions. in fact i have enough to furnish a small library on my own. not to mention i started up with my e-book collection. back then i was reading through my ipod video.
it was 2008 and the whole craze was netbooks. i bought the asus eeepc701. it was this cool little laptop with a 4gig memory. it was running on linux and you can type and open documents, you can surf the internet and play music on it. it even runs pdf files. but after the novelty wore off, i realized it was just a flashy device.. until i discovered ebooks. i started using that thing mainly for ebook reading and my physical books started gathering dust. i also started developing headaches because i was reading so much on such a little screen, a computer screen too and my eyes would get tired easily from reading from it. of course i knew about the existence of the early kindles but it was pricey, not to mention unable here in the philippines! i was not about to shell out 400dollars plus shipping and taxes on a device that only reads books and there were a lot of bad reviews. instead i bought myself an MSI wind (2009). a netbook with a bigger screen and a bigger memory. my ebook collection was growing at a fast pace too! i had access to a lot of free ebooks too so you can just imagine how fast my ebook collection was growing on top of the physical books i still kept buying but barely had the time to read.
and then Typhoon Ondoy (Typhoon Ketsana) hit the country pretty bad. i was in my rented flat in manila with no electricity and little food, i couldnt get out of my 2nd-storey apartment cuz the streets were flooded really deep, but it was all good. i had a lot of stored up battery from my two netbooks and reading books with the brightness low can really stretch the battery. the next day, i braved the flooded streets of manila to go home in the south cuz my mom called me up telling me that we had electricity and water supply at home. while traveling home, it really hit me how devastated the typhoon left my country and most media outlets were urging the public to donate to people who lost not just their homes but everything. their possessions and even the very clothes on their backs. so the minute i reached our house (which thankfully was not affected by the typhoon) i went to my room trying to find things to donate. and i was frustrated to see that my closet was very meager. and i do not mean to exaggerate but i truly didn’t have clothes to spare. i realized that i rarely ever shop for clothes to have an extensive collection and have something to spare. it was really frustrating because i was always break-even in my budgeting with very little in the bank. so where did my money go?
then i spotted the piles and piles, shelves upon shelves of books that i haven’t even touched, just gathering dust in my room, waiting to be loved, and i realized that just like in gradeschool when my lunch money was considerably smaller, that most of my allowance still went to books. luckily, my family was active in donation drives and was able to donate to the typhoon victims so that alleviated my conscience a little.
but there was still that nagging feeling that i spend way too much on books that does not even get the love they deserve from me. so i sold most of my book collection and donated the proceeds to typhoon victims and embraced ebooks completely. (of course i kept
some all of my favorites, especially the classics)
i was still developing migraines from reading from a computer screen so i decided to give the ipad1 a chance. it was cool for a lot of things but it was not satisfying my bookhabit. i cannot read outside where there’s sunshine, i find it too big, and all that stuff. don’t get me wrong tho, i find the ipad cool for other stuff. i find it too cool in fact, that i even bought the ipad2 as well (the following year, when it first came out). it just wasnt cool enough for the bookworm in me. so i decided to take the plunge and buy a dedicated e-book reader. in e-ink.
and luckily, in 2010, Amazon announced that they were revamping the kindle family so i pre-ordered the kindle 3 and thus my e-book lovestory began. the rest they say, is history.