Don't judge the book by its cover. Cliche. I judge, however, a person by what he reads. Not in a condescending way though. But somehow, I have a glimpse of what kind of a person someone is by the book he is reading. I was in a bookshop a while ago and I saw strata of readers pulling books of their interest from one shelf to another. I saw also a file of girls giggling while reading romance novels. I saw bibliophiles huggling books. I was always amazed by the busyness of people choosing books, skimming pages, and browsing pictures. There were people as old as 60 and young as 6, each buried intently in his book of choice; some leaning on the shelves while others sitting on the floor. And there was I killing my time scavenging for books I desperately want to collect for future read.
One girl picked a romance novel and was constantly giggling, perhaps amused by what she read or imagined, while her companion busied herself on an English novel. The girl with the English book barked, "Why don't you read an English novel?" The girl with a Pinoy romance novel retaliated, "Duh, as if you understand English naman." I nearly dropped my jaw and my books when I heard their verbal antics. I sighed a smile.
I always admire people who have intelligent choices when it comes to reading materials, may it be a magazine, newspaper or a book. When a person picks classics, I can't help but be curious about what and how he thinks. I am blessed to be surrounded by intelligent people who have exquisite taste on reading materials. I want to peek at their brains and see what's going in there. When a person picks a book of art or architecture, I tense thinking what's brewing inside that mind. An inspiration or a concept is forming? When I see someone reading a book, I can't help but have a sense of respect for that person. I love reading. It is my own brand of heroine. The addiction I can't help but succumb to. It is my own brand of airline that takes me to the beauty of Paris, the grandeur of Rome, the depths of Atlantis, the mysteries of here and there. Emily Dickinson once blurted, "There is no frigate like a book, to take us lands away, nor any coursers like a page, of prancing poetry." Who wouldn't agree with that?
This year, at school, we have this campaign of raising readers among children. The school is trying its best to eliminate the hazards that modern technology brings by instilling a love for reading among children. Well, technology has its pros and cons and the school is beset by the problems that the technology impose on the younger minds. Talks about the benefits of books outweigh the harms brought by the amusement that gadget offers. I say balance. But children of this generation seem to be ignorant of this word.
I have a student who reads like a stenographer writes. He reads a page like it was a one-liner comic strip. I let him read a three-page short story and after a minute he gave the book to me and summarized what he had read. If the world could offer children like this, then we could have an intelligent planet. But again, balance is the word. We speak of intelligence in all facets. Just imagine a world preoccupied with reading rather than fiddling with gadgets. What would you rather choose?
I don't care about your choice, though. It's all up to you. TTFN!