As far as I can remember, I loved to read books and magazines. This was despite the fact that when I was young we were living in a remote barrio, 6 kilometers away from a small farming town with no public library. Nowadays of course, this was replaced by my fascination with the all-powerful web, where practically one could find almost any piece of information from all over the world, if ones’ just patient enough to surf the web.
Back then, those books became a window for me – enabling me to observe people and know the culture all over the world – from the hot, dusty frontier towns of Nevada to the cold blizzards of Alaska, or the freezing winter in Greenland, and to the oxygen starved heights of Mt. Everest in Nepal. Never been there, yup, but the books enabled me to “see” with a touch of childlike imagination and wonder those strange far away places. I was told by a teacher in high school that I was a ” bookworm” – and I didn’t know what she meant. More like an obsession to me now!
My journey towards wisdom was really helped by a stack of endless piles of musty, old books. To those authors (and editors) I owe a lot, really. I believe that if not for those books that helped me developed a sense of wonder and imagination about the world – and of the universe itself, I would not have that extra push to succeed and excel. Maybe I would still be just like some guys back at our place – a worn out farmer tending to his farm. (melodramatic! lol)
I don’t know why, but recently the old Turkish saying came to mind: ” Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”. In relation to books, my revised version is: ” Tell me what books you read, and I’ll tell you who you are!” So I decided to make a compilation of books I read as far as I can remember, just for fun – this is laundry list of books I can just remember, as I now sit in front of the PC. (I encourage you to share us your own list by the way, in the comments section below):
Kindergarten up to Elementary years (the age of innocence – that some wants to keep on returning to -that’s many years ago, mind you! lol). Ah, let’s see if I can still recall now : Hiligaynon (a magazine for Hilonggo’s which gives one an indication of my true heritage), Liwayway, Komiks (Mars Ravelo, etc.), Tiktik (yes! and some others of the same genre – I forgot the names already), a whole shelf of my Uncle’s collection of Donald Duck comics, and other comic books I can’t remember now, but it’s about riding a rocket to the moon (needless to say, these provided fuel to my fertile imagination then as I imagine myself like those characters in the comics flying to the moon).
High-school years ( the age of raging hormones): Popular Mechanics, National Geographic Magazine, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and I discovered a cartoon full of my father’s collection of western novels (Max Brand, etc..) from when he was an agriculture student at the Araneta University in Manila (?) (I promptly “devoured” the whole thing for several weeks : the one I now remembered from his collection is ” The Brothers on the Trail”), The Virginian, Zane Grey Series, the Tarzan Series: Princess of Mars, the City of Gold, etc., Nancy Drew series (yes, I read those also!), Harold Robbins books (A Stone for Danny Fischer, The Adventurers, The Carpetbaggers, The Stiletto, 79 Park Avenue, The Betsy, The Lonely Lady), The Godfather by Mario Puzo, The Exorcist, A tale of Two Cities, The Three Musketeers, Poems (Robert Frost, etc.)., Dovegleon, and many others. Also poems… a lot of poems (Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam, etc).
College Days: Das Kapital, Ann Raynd (The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged), Calculus books (Differential, Integral, Differential Equation), Strength of Materials, and Mechanics (I still have these), Hydraulics, Theory of Structures, self help books : How to Win Friends and Influence People (Dale Carnegie),Concrete and Steel Design Books.
Working Days and Nowadays : Law books related to construction, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey), C. Lewis Books, Frank Padilla book series, some books by Max Lucado, Og Mandino books, Bo Sanchez books, Poor Dad, Rich Dad, The Partitioning of the Philippines (Martinez), Real Estate Brokerage books, Surveying books, Readers Digest including the condensed edition, Think Rich Pinoy series by Larry Gamboa, etc.
How about yours’?
Perhaps because of my fascination with books, or maybe because I was just in that certain stage of my life, I wrote a book 4 years ago which until now, I had shared only with a few friends, and is reluctant to share here as it may be controversial. It is called the : “Gunfight Survival Tactics: Practical Strategies for Survival”. Its about practical strategies in a gunfight situation – which interest me when I was managing a Bus Terminal way back then.🙂