Random thoughts on my love of books and reading

I’ve been reading all kinds of books as far as I can remember in my life.

I always carry a book anywhere I go. Whether it's to eat out, an appointment with the doctor and yes, even to the bathroom. I don't mind about the book's weight even if it's heavier than a hair brush or a bottle of cologne.

I was asked once if it bothers me to carry a book to which I answered “no, not at all.” In the blogs I've written I mentioned about how my family's poverty drove me to reading books.

It was the only luxury my mother or ”nanay” can afford to give me when I was little. I've loved reading ever since I learned how to do it and it's become a passion, a favorite hobby.

A little throwback is in order I think. I was the eldest in a family of seven. Nanay and Tatay (father) worked at Del Monte Corp. and shared the same work schedule and so whenever we were left to the care of Nay Doring (my grandfather's wife) I would spend the night reading.

I remember burning the candles reading and I persisted until our home got electricity. When I put my younger sisters or brother in a hammock for a nap in the afternoon or night time I read a book while swinging them to sleep.

It isn't easy reading a book while swinging the hammock with my foot. Also I was envious at first hearing the noise of boys and girls at play in the backyard. I do remember shedding a tear or two.

Back then, I started reading magazines like Bisaya and Liwayway and I read them not just for the comics but the short stories of fantasy writer Mars Ravelo.

I recall the Philippine Free Press and the Graphic that my mother would bring home every week because she subscribed to Ms. Poping Villegas (I remember that the Villegas house with its grill fence fronted the old market then).

The envy eventually vanished when I became engrossed with reading the adventures of Oliver Twist and Don Quixote and his sidekick or David Copperfield characters and many more. I became part of their adventures. I played only when I had the time to do so.

No matter how loud my neighbors Onyot Rollenas or Nong Bobot Casino or my own brother Ramon or my good friend Roy Paduganan played, I didn't care anymore.

Except if Cherie Pacheco would plan for a swim at the river and I saw the ripe fruit from the camachile tree.

I guess I inherited my love of reading from my parents who read magazines frequently. Mother read stories on housekeeping while father focused on politics. I've acquired a taste for reading both topics.

I positively devoured books on history, and literature and my love for these two subjects hasn't waned with time. Every now and then I try to jot down my thoughts and I wanted to share some of them with you today.

I would love to hear reading tips from you. Unfortunately, I haven't passed my passion for reading to my children. Janice tried to read books but after finishing three pages she would stop.

But it's amazing how she memorized lines from the “Tale of Two Cities” written by Charles Dickens a few years back. She could have read them when I wasn't around.

The other day here at Charlotte, North Carolina my youngest daughter GG accompanied me to the North County Regional Library and I was surprised to see her choice of books to read.

Her reading list included “The Education of a Little Tree” by Forrest Carter, “The Grapes of Wrath” by Joseph Conrad and the “Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway.

Wow, not only am I surprised, I am impressed. I started talking to her about my favorite portions in “The Education of a Little Tree”, but she stopped me by saying she was too absorbed reading the book.

Surprises indeed. Well, I couldn't blame her for her enthusiasm, seeing a young version of myself as she read the book. Maybe I did succeed in passing my love of reading to my children.

(Susan Palmes-Dennis is a veteran journalist from Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao in the Philippines who works as a nanny in North Carolina. This page will serve as a venue for news and discussion on Filipino communities in the Carolinas. Visit and read her website at www.susanpalmes-dennis.simplesite.com. Read her blogs on susanpalmesstraightfrom the Carolinas.com. These and other articles also appear at http://www.sunstar.com.ph/author/2582/susan-palmes-dennis.

You can also connect with her through her Pinterest account at http://www.pinterest.com/pin/41025046580074350/) and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Straight-from-the-Carolinas-/494156950678063)