Roll On: Reading - An Alien to Malaysian or is it just me?

by - May 05, 2017

To be frank, I wasn't big on reading. For the bigger part of my past, the idea of reading itself is somewhat weird. Most of the people I knew don't read and those who reads was not religiously. Maybe this public figures just published a book or some film was made from it or someone you look up to suggest the book - usually, the uplifting your heart kind of book. The ones who read was more spurs of the moment kind of action instead of the needs to read a book.

The needs!


That's the main keyword - the main turning point for me. Not an exact 360 degrees kind of turn but I turn a bit somehow. I and most people I knew never thought reading as a need for living. I'm not sure was it during my high school or my matriculation that a teacher/lecturer point out that we need to fulfill a certain quota each year on the books we read. She told us that after she learned that none of us can really point out if we even read a book for that particular year. I remember the teacher/lecturer's response to be just mildly shocked and a bit of hopelessness because I think she knew how reading is not a culture at all.

The Star, 2013

Malaymail Online, 2016.
Source

From there on, I got this kind of nagging feeling that lack of reading somehow devalues my life. I don't think she even told us why we need to read - the kind of book, how it would help us, why we should take it more seriously. But the fact that she pulls we need to read a certain number of books per year really got into me.

It might be due to the fact that English teacher has always had a special rank in my thought, but anywho.

It goes to all kind of people for all kind of age. Reading enrich your life! Eureka!

I do actually reads. During my primary high school, my best friend and I were always competing for the Nilam contest. Competing is so overrated because she always wins and quite naturally it was usually us who wins since well, we are the ones doing extra while others were just fulfilling the requirement dictated. I remember how the teacher in charge of the school library has become one of the dearest teachers of us since I don't have any books. 

Unlike my friend, her mother has instilled and preserved the spirit of reading in her that actually I only learn to realize about Harry Potter since she owned all of them. My mom does instills reading passion but I think that was just to help my English since she only bought them when I was seven or eight something. I love my brightly illustrated and enchanting English storybook about chicken and stuff and I do think such expose at a young age has made me and my sister consider English to be something common.

Ground control to Major Tom - we are swerving from the main point here!

So after reaching to my past history of reading and that teacher/lecturer's big questions on how many books we read - I try to take reading seriously. But only in my thought LOL. It was so hard to find time to read during degree and honestly, the book's content just wasn't compelling enough for me. Sometimes, it was actually very compelling but then I just don't really feel like reading it all the time. Reading itself is a new habit - a new input into your life routine. I read so little for those four years in degree and even now I have lots of free time, reading has not been much of an attractive option.

But Allah forbids I hate reading. I really do love reading so much. Each new soul I knew and each new places I travel from the mere action of reading has thought me so much. Even from these small numbers of books, I learn a lot! Yet, the most amazing thing is that how I get to learn myself more. So here am I, pushing myself to read more. I seriously believe this love/hate/boring relationship is partly due to shaitan, temptation to waste time and stuff.

The main reason I choose to dwell into this is that I am chosen to become a curator for twt_buku. I just apply it for fun and now I am mildly concerned that people expect so much from me. But the challenge seems interesting enough so I'm doing it for sure.

Do I only just let myself to read when I feel like it? No! I won't achieve anything by that. I have few tricks up my sleeve. Through blogging, I come to know some bibliophile and these folks really help to keep the reading spirit high. Not only that, I keep track of the book I read via Goodreads so that I can visually see my achievement. I even set a 25 books goals this year (poorly achieved but it is still something). I try to read at least two books at a time so that I can rotate between both and not easily feel bored or that feelings that like a heavy load of things has set into me so let me rest for a day or months. I keep the book in plain view to remind me to read it and because it looks cool to have some books across the house. 

Source

However, that nagging feeling how not reading would devalue my life is kinda the main push here. All those "reminders" would eventually lead me here - I need to read as if reading is the very breath I took each second.

So, what's reading for you?


You May Also Like

16 comments

  1. Writing and reading; powerful instruments to the mind. To be honest, I am quite grateful with few local indie publisher (FIXI, LEJEN, DUBOOK and what not) when they were first introduced back few years ago. Compared to back then, reading culture is sick, not everyone read. However with the existence of this indie publisher, I have been seeing a lot of people start to read - even the guys which I used to believe, hate to read!

    Goodluck btw, I'll be looking on what topics you're going to cover in @twt_buku!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the wish Faten! I don't read them yet but as with you, I notice reading habit among Malaysian has improved slowly when more such books got published. Let us support them so that they can be mainstream! I just got my first copy of Selut Bookpress, that's a start.

      Delete
  2. Out of nine Malaysians in my place, only 3 of us read so I think the statistic is right.

    On a side note, my parents are not a reader themselves but they used to bring us to bookstores or libraries (Perpustakaan Negara when we still stayed at Gombak) so because of that all of my siblings read. It is normal to see us with books lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a good parenting tip. I'm definitely doing that. There are so little readers here among us as well. Some even like "wuuu, rajinnya baca" when I bring a book into class or something. The typical Malaysian nice-ish borderline sarcasm comment lol.

      Delete
  3. I'm not really an avid reader before. I had this one book that I bought and only to finish reading it 6 years later. It's that bad! I read mostly novels and only after I read different genre I understand that, it is all depending on your preference.

    I have read classics, romance, sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy. The one that I can really binge is mostly the one that tells straightforward and fast paced story. Even so, I mixed my reading so that I can explore more world.

    Its like once I done reading something slow, I would read something fast. After I read something heavy, I would read something light and heartwarming.

    Basically for me, depends on the thing that you like. Some people may not like reading maybe because they have not found the book that will suit their liking. Now, I know what type of book that I like and definitely would be interested, reading has been easy for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate it so much you go the length for this comment. It really is a wonder to share our thoughts and I agree with you completely! I think JK Rowling also have the same opinion right? I got some John Green novels once I realized that I love his way of writing. I have two or three more I'm yet to read but I made it sort of reward reading after I finished books that wasn't compelling enough for me. Just like the alternating games you play. I want to read more so this is the best possible way for me as well. Not to mention I'm more drawn to fiction only. Even so, the alternatives reading I have also has to be interesting enough for me or else I end up donating the books somewhere. I'm amazed you actually kept the book for 6 whole year!

      Delete
  4. I have this thought this morning. Love is like reading a book. You'll never experience how hurt, how loyal, how obey you can unless you experience the love itself, same as for a book. We will never know whether the book gonna be our cup of tea although we already know everyone praises about them, or underrated them. We just need to read the book itself to find out.

    For me, reading is a part of writing, it depends on each other, how can we describe things to others even we dont have the words to speaks for our mind. yeah words does. They are like the bridge from one mind to another, that is why for me reading is some part of communication between people. We just need to alter mind a bit, being in someone shoes etc. All of this world begin with a single step of reading.

    Argh, I've been slumping in reading quite awhile now, reading your post uplift my spirit a bit. I'll be looking forward for you on twt_buku and congrats! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate you thought so much. Loving it more too especially "They are like the bridge from one mind to another". I agree completely. People also spend more time and effort on reading and writing so they thought conveyed are most likely to be understood better. A bibliophile getting spirit uplift from ME? That's is such a praise!

      Delete
    2. You are a bibliophile yourself kak pah! :P

      Delete
  5. Nanti baca kat ruma. Bateri hp dah keciput. I love coffee too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad we have the same passion in coffee haha.

      Delete
  6. When I was a kid up to form 5, I do read a lot.. But since I entered Dip, I had no time to read anymore and now, even if I try to read a book, It would took weeks for me to complete the book.. D:
    I need my childhood moment backkkk.. Q_Q

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I hope you'd get that moment ASAP!

      Delete
  7. kak e'in memang peminat novel.. berlambak gile kat rumah.. tapi semenjak dah ade anak nie, nak sentuh novel pun dah tak sempat dah.. kekadang rindu nak duduk lelame kat kedai buku, pilih novel best-best..

    ReplyDelete
  8. I do agree with your point on "not reading will somehow devalue my life." Being an introverted person and quite someone with social ineptitude (most of the time), I choose to dwell in the world of books.

    In my case, my passion in reading books that I hold dearly in my heart stems from my desire to get to know the "outside" world, what is the world actually like and only books can offer me that satisfying sense of exploring the world beyond my reach. The words can really allure me into understanding things in a different perspective and at times could change my whole life. These are what I'm actually looking for in my life and because of that, I want to travel around the world too =P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hilman! Your comment just speaks my heart so dearly. Books tells me a lot about outside world too and it is so refreshing to look into thing with new perspective. I so hope to travel the world and hopefully to live out the books, even only a little bit.

      Delete