Turn off the TV. Snub the social media. Take a break from writing. And just read. Read, read, read. One book after another. When I finished reading 12 books in February, I increased my target to 15, then to 20, then to 25. My target now is 50 books by the end of the year. So far, I have finished reading 39 books. That is 15 more books read in 2014 when I was also hit by the reading bug right after I left a stressful eight-to-five job.
Apart from my husband, reading comforted me during the home quarantine. Books remind me of my capacity to read, my level of literacy, and the existence of my common sense during the serious period when it seems to me that my country’s government has failed me.
You can find on Goodreads the books I have read so far. Out of the list, here are some favorites:
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera (fiction, novel)
- Locust Girl by Merlinda Bobis (fiction, fantasy)
- Woman Enough and Other Essays by Carmen Guerrero Nakpil (nonfiction, essays, borrowed from and returned to the STC library)
- The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura (nonfiction, audiobook)
- Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill (nonfiction, essays)
- Madame de Sade by Yukio Mishima (fiction, play, borrowed from and returned to the STC library)
- Stories my Mama Told me After she was Gone by Bryonie Wise (poems)
- Gold Boy, Emerald Girl by Yiyun Li (fiction, short stories)
I’m sure this list of favorites will grow. There are still a few more books to read before the year ends.
I'm grateful that 2020 is turning out to be a season of revelations for me. I am learning more about myself in terms of genre preferences, language style, and reading habits. At the same time, I am discovering more writers (mostly Asian) whose printed works I have wish-listed and, when budget allows, hope to buy next year.
Let me tune out for now so I can go back to my reading.