Friday, May 18, 2012

On Books, Stories and Written Words

So lately, I’ve found myself wandering around Manila looking for second-hand book shops again. Apparently, 2012 is a slow year for gaming, as there are very few games coming out that I’m actually interested in, but I digress.
Reading has always been a fallback pastime for me, and I tend to jump in whenever there’s nothing left to play or no shows to watch on my free time.

I guess the affinity for books came from the fact that it has always been a struggle to get my folks to get us toys back then, but they rarely said no whenever we wanted them to get something for us to read, whether we wanted graphic novels, literary classics or whatever piece of literature we found ourselves pointing to on frequent visits to book stores. I guess being tasked to do book reviews every quarter in school was a major factor too, especially when we had to read books which were, to be honest, unbearably boring. I even recall spending weeks at a time at my grandparents’ house, rummaging through the old books my aunts and uncles have dumped there over the years. It might sound strange, but I knew about Jaws and Star Wars from the books first before the movies.

Does it pay off in the long run? Maybe it does. The sheer amount of trivia (or useless knowledge as we call it) as well as reading comprehension are just the bonus perks. I think the real value is in the fact that we became better listeners and we found it easy to appreciate the stories other people tell. We see the effort that others put into telling those stories, whether it’s something simple that made their day or some worries they just needed to get off their chest. We learned that people experience similar stories and we learned the merits of seeing things from different perspectives.

Could those things be learned from real life experience alone? I don’t doubt that, since different people learn one thing different ways and to each their own. This after all, is just an opinion too.

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