Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Of Books And Love Affairs
It's supposed to be a nightstand, a small table beside my bed. Pero obviously mukha na syang bookshelf. Kawawa naman yung picture frames, wala nang silbi.
My love affair with books are like my (pseudo) past and future relationships. A totally blinding realization for me when I had the chance to sort my books last night. Like dealing with men, I’m not one of those people who can casually pick up a book and leave it anytime, not caring if they’ve finished reading it. Hey, I'm a financial analyst, I should have the patience of a proofreader.
It takes a lot of effort for me to find a book to read: cruising it at the bookstore, eyeing it on the shelf, walking nonchalantly, giving it a small smile as I pass by.
When I finally summon enough courage to approach it, I go tentatively, studying the cover, perusing the blurb, flirting with the first page. Sometimes I can get very daring and read an entire chapter. Scandalous! The clerk eyes me disapprovingly behind the counter.
When the plot clicks, I get this rush, this giddy feeling. I have to rush to pay so I can go home and get into bed with it. I spread its pages apart and dive in. I am enthralled, passionately reading all night.
In the morning I wake up and it is lying tenderly on my chest. Not just one for a nightstand.
When a book is really good, I keep it forever. It occupies a very special space in my bookshelf, in my life.
But once in a while, I get a book that starts out good but starts to turn bad. I have made a bad judge of cover.
I find it hard to abandon a book. I usually stick with it to the bitter end. I am co-dependent that way: even though I derive no more pleasure with it, I cannot untangle myself. I am bound to it.
I try to negotiate with it. Another few pages I say, maybe it will get better.
But it doesn’t.
I can get really violent. I will slam the book close in disgust, or throw it physically across the room. But in the cold light of the morning, I am ashamed when I see its cover bruised, battered, lying there forlorn.
A friend may see the book and ask me what happened. An accident, I say, the door...
But even though I carefully consider each book I encounter, most often, I get this feeling, like it wasn’t meant to be. You know the kind: you have fun while it lasts but when The End comes, you part ways amicably.
Just another by-the-book affair.
I try to remember why it didn't work out. But my memory of that particular story only comes in bits and pieces. I realize it doesn't matter, I've already turned the page...