Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Solace of Books Endures

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I can still remember how reading Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 gave me comfort when I first got my heart broken. There were a number of times in the past when I, a child longing for the company of her parents, would turn to books as a source of refuge. Now that I feel myself descending, yet again, into the dark depths, reading is what impedes me from plunging headfirst. The solace of books endures.

My life during the first three months of the year can be summed up according to the books I’ve read and how they’ve given me pleasure, relieved my boredom, changed the way I think and kept that hovering sadness at bay. Here they are:


I know this is highly irreverent, but revisiting Jane Austen’s novels felt like watching episodes of Gossip Girl and reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera made me lose my patience. “Come on, you two! Get together already!”--I cried out, as if the characters could hear me. Some of the scenes in Bernard Malamud’s The Fixer got so unbearable that I had to put it down.

The non-fiction books, which I assumed were utter blahs, turned out to be page turners: Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves that I relished reading, finished in one sitting and would have wanted to be four times longer than it is; Sam Ridley’s The End of Faith, which I absolutely love; Matt Ridley’s Genome – who would have thought that a book about amino acids, genes and chromosomes can be so riveting that it can't be put down? And above all is Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s biography written by Gerald Martin, which wasn’t only about the life of a great man but the history and politics of South America. I savored each page and dreaded the book’s end: I wanted it to last.

Though some of the books are obviously travel related, all took me to places I’ve never been before: to Paris in Wharton’s Madame de Treymes, a small town in Italy in Hersey’s A Bell for Adano, Mexico’s southern states in Greene’s The Power and the Glory, Kiev in The Fixer, Bath in Austen’s novels, New Orleans in Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, along the Mississippi in Twain’s Tom Sawyer and a New England Village in Wharton’s Ethan Frome. And it was Florentino Ariza’s clandestine love affairs with countless widows in Love in the Time of Cholera that kept me from obsessing about the plane crashing when we were on our way to Boracay.

Books have been--and will always be--that which is sacred in my life.

13 comments:

jac said...

all those books in three months only? you've got so much time in your hands.. :)

Angeli said...

and march isn't over yet! baka madagdagan pa yan. hahaha.

when i'm not at work, i spend almost all of my waking hours reading. inaabot ako hanggang umaga sa pagbabasa kung minsan. sobrang enjoy kasi. :)

zars said...

graduate ka nga ng city high, adik! :)

at kasalanan mo kung bakit gusto kong pumunta ngayon sa borders kahit nasa bahay na ako...

Angeli said...

hey, zars! it's great to see you here. salamat sa pagbisita. :)

tama ka, adik nga ang tawag sa atin. hahahhaha

Anonymous said...

she finds time reading while waiting for a chat response. :)

Angeli said...

why not if i can finish a page before i get the next response?

that is called time management.

:)

Anonymous said...

unfortunately i am fueling that reading addiction. had she not lost her faith i would have suggested the 12 step program. :)

here is step 5 of the 12 step program (she will not admit to god).

# Step 5 - Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Angeli said...

hah! that is for you, you beer lover you!! hahahah

Kayni said...

wow!...all i can say is wow. go books! go angeli!

jac said...

among the books, EAT PRAY LOVE caught my attention... and my Google search shows that there's a movie of it coming up on August 2010 (with Julia Roberts playing as Elizabeth Gilbert). :)

i hope to read the book before i view the movie. :)

Angeli said...

@kayni: go books, indeed - pananggalang sa kalungkutan. :)

@jac: yes, jac. eat, pray, love is a nice read and so different from the usual books i read. may pagka-chick lit sya. :) you will like it, especially when you visualize julia roberts savoring a gelato with that beautiful smile of hers. :)

unstranger said...

Haven't been reading as much myself these days. Sometimes I take a break from it. All this inter-netting does take up a lot of my time though.

Angeli said...

i read two to three hours daily before i go to sleep. it's a ritual that i don't deviate from. i also try to limit my hours on the Internet. :)

 
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