Posted: September 18, 2008 in Bisag Unsa / Random Rants
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After I earned my undergraduate degree and it became inevitable that I would pursue further studies one of the many things that suffered was my love for reading. Of course I still has to read textbooks and journals and manuals, but my passion for everything nontechnical waned. Upon it befell the fate of a loyal and devoted but forgotten and neglected lover. I deemed it less necessary to my survival, shoved to the back seat (the trunk actually) by the lame excuse “I don’t have enough time!” The weekly book sadly became the yearly book.

How many of us have suffered from this deadly affliction?

How much of the world does not read, whether by choice or by circumstance?

Remember the Queenie Lee-Chua article that came out on the Inquirer last year which revealed a decline in reading among Filipinos? Don’t panic, the trend is worldwide. The local study was based on a survey by the Social Weather Stations, as commissioned by the National Book Development Board to determine the state of Filipino readership, reading habits, and preferences.

I know we Filipinos love to read but are sadly limited by other factors such as the cost and availability of books: only if the average Pinoy could afford them, only if they were available in the first place. Ask the next guy in the jeepney stop, the kid hawking cigarettes and sweets in traffic, or kids forced into evacuation centers by the hostilities in Mindanao. Reading has simply become a privilege instead of a birthright.

To those of us fortunate enough not to be hindered to read, I wonder when will we realize that distractions such as television, video games, and other activities which make us feel we don’t have enough time, are so trivial? That if we want to do something, and if that something was important enough we will always find time for it? (Like most things, like exercise. But that’s another story.)

So I am going to challenge myself: ONE BOOK A WEEK.

That means 16 books until the end of the year.

I have dust on an entire bookshelf of unread books waiting to be disturbed. On top of that I have accumulated nearly a gig of fiction ebooks.

Reading is on the decline but those of us who can change the numbers should do something.

Let’s start with ourselves.

(The book/s I am currently reading will be posted under Literally Speaking, while read  books for the challenge under Recent Reads.)


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