Archives for category: Books and Literature

Just as we feed ourselves healthy food to sustain our body, our mind benefits from a steady diet of interesting and informative books which provide us with insight and enjoyment about various topics which interest us.

Owing to the lack of a good public library here in Metro Manila which might provide a less costly way of feeding the hunger for new knowledge, it usually happens that a significant amount of money gets spent on books.

There is a sense of satisfaction which comes along with being able to read what we please at least once a day in order to refresh one’s mind from daily realities which may be unpleasant.

Without a steady diet of good books and reading materials, It would be all too easy to feel lost and restless because for book lovers, nothing can quite replace reading graceful prose on a daily basis. There are definitely worse things one can be drawn to.

(C) Niconica 2013

A couple of years ago, I began reading Kindle books thinking that it would be a reading back up plan only when the books were not available in physical form and thinking that I would always prefer printed books over books in electronic format.

I believe that having a physical book in one’s hands and having the joy of flipping and smelling (yes) the pages is still one of the more enjoyable experiences in life. However, it seems that my kindle library has increased in size through the years and I’m starting to get the hang of reading books from the comfort of my iPhone screen.

The advantage of a kindle book is that it may be read unobtrusively even when the lights are off or in the dark. It is also convenient to read it while lying on one’s back without worrying about the light source or compromising our eyesight.

The convenience of purchasing with one click from amazon.com after consulting reviews is just too tempting to resist at times. For an avid reader like myself, the plethora of books available at one’s fingertips just a tap away presents giddy possibilities of more knowledge to read and enjoy.

Running out of physical bookshelves or spaces to store my hard copy books makes reading and purchasing soft copies appealing as well. I’m starting to enjoy the benefits of kindle more and more and I would say that even if the feeling of leafing through actual printed pages is unparalleled, and kindle books cannot match up to that, it makes up for it in other aspects such as accessibility, convenience, and ease.

(c) Niconica 2013

My room is filled with stacks of books where it probably should have other more generally accepted objects such as interesting memorabilia, photos, or  pretty furniture.  I am addicted to reading and since there is a lack of a good public library system here, I resort to scouring book retailers, Amazon.com, and second-hand bookshops for good reads to fill my appetite for reading something new.  I like reading non-fiction more than fiction now than when I was younger.

It is widely said that books provide a thriftier way to travel to another local or an easy way to encounter new experiences.  Given that I am now less of an extrovert and less inclined to be seeking actual adventures via travelling, I value the insights and the knowledge which books provide.  It goes without saying that not all books provide the same intellectually potent fare as others and we must exercise discernment with what we choose to expose our minds to.

Reading new books weekly requires a certain commitment since time and resources are involved with purchasing the book and physically sitting down and focusing on the words.  It is something that I gladly do since I sometimes find that a good book is better company than many other people.  I am not interested in idle gossip or superficial talk, and having selected books which I enjoy provides me an avenue of spending my time instead of seeking other distractions.

Perhaps I could be playing video games more often but nothing catches my interest more than a book.  Movies, music, and video games are also part of the activities which I enjoy but seeing the clutter in my room being book stacks in majority, it illustrates what is important to me.  It is not beyond me to use folded receipts as bookmarks when I jump from one book to another during the course of a week.  I had prepared some bookmarks but they don’t seem to be around when I start a new book–unless they are already in the other books which I’m concurrently reading.

I’m gradually warming up to the idea of electronic books but nothing beats the smell of a new book, and nothing beats the enjoyment of physically leafing through the pages of the book.  I do believe that in the interest of saving the planet and being eco-friendly, electronic books would be the way to go and it would be this way in the future.  However, I suppose I am still old-school when it comes to books in that I like feeling the paper and seeing the words on the printed page as I read.

I cannot imagine going through a day without reading something–anything, even a little bit.  It is almost like a ‘caffeine’ fix but instead it is a book fix.  I fell in love with books ever since I first learned to read at a young age and this obsession shows no signs of abating.  I suppose there are worst things that one can be addicted to.  As my shoe rack is already filled with books, I just need to have more bookshelves or convert my wardrobe into a bookshelf.

Books, books, and more books.  I love books.  I love reading. And I love writing.

(c) Niconica 2013

My reading list is getting longer and longer as I discover more books during my visits to bookshops. No matter how many books I have read, there is infinitely more books which I haven’t read, and I feel the desire to have the time, resources, and access to these books which I have not had the good fortune to encounter yet.

It is a pity that there is no public library system to speak of here in Manila which contains all the plethora of books which public libraries ought to have from the classics to the latest releases, as well as journals, periodicals, and other reference materials such as magazines, audio and video recordings, and music.

There might be a National Library here somewhere but it has old dusty books which might not even be allowed to be lent out due to the rampant tendency for borrowers to “forget” to return the books which would lead to the current predicament the library might be in, with less books or records that it stares with in the first place.

Local libraries are gems, at their best, they are little Meccas of knowledge where people may go to partake nuggets of wisdom, inspiration or entertainment however the structure of Philippine culture and society does not seem to allow for local public libraries similar to the ones found in Western countries therefore book lovers have to purchase their book fixes from bookshops, websites, or via Kindle.

One can only wonder how many more books one would have access to of there were a functioning public library as well as the pleasure of minimizing one’s book habit expenses.

Many non-readers are puzzled why bookworms such as myself often have the compulsion to buy new books even when we have not finished reading the ones we currently have. This is because if we forego the chance of purchasing an interesting book, we have no guarantees that we may come across it again locally, unless it is on Kindle, then it would always be accessible but deprive us of enjoyinh contact with the book itself and the pleasure of physically leading through it.

Almost two decades ago, there were a few places around the metro which rented out books and I thought that was a great idea and would often visit it and rent out books I was interested in. The selection of the books were limited to fiction paperbacks but it was a lovely feeling to rent a book out and already have the next book in mind to borrow upon the return of the previous book. It is a pity that such places closed up already because they were the closest thing to a local library which we had here.

I suspect that the dawn of the Internet era compounded by the rampant non-returns of the rented books contributed to the non-sustainability of such businesses. And now, a few decades later these changes have not deterred determined bookworms from going around the metro and hunting for books to consume with their minds and introduce them to various worlds and different ways of thinking.

It is both fortunate and unfortunate that there are seemingly endless books to choose from because there is always something to look forward to read while at the same time realizing that given the demands of daily life that one may hardly get the time to read all the books one would ideally wish to enjoy.

(c) Niconica 2013

My first encounter with books with the Dalai Lama’s teachings was during a very rough time in my life and my brother gave me a Dalai Lams book. At that time, I was too caught up with myself to completely absorb and comprehend the teachings however, these past few months I’ve been coming across various books containing the teachings and thoughts of the Dalai Lama and I’m starting to develop a more thorough appreciation of them perhaps because I’m in a better frame of mind to do so and I believe that no matter one’s religious beliefs, the Dalai Lama’s books are relevant and may be appreciated from a psychological, philosophical, and educational perspective.

His teachings are relevant to all human beings and it would be great if more people have access to his teachings in their native languages.

The beauty of the Buddha’s teachings is that it teaches about life and logically discusses being able to overcome one’s own negative tendencies. It is a pity that simply because Buddhism is considered a religion aside from being a philosophy that many people think that Buddha is a god and feel that they would be betraying their own religion by being open to his teachings.

It would be great of more people appreciated that the Buddha is was a great human teacher during his mortal existence and does not claim to be a god (or God) in any way, shape, or form. He is venerated for his wisdom and his teachings and rightfully so.

I will be reviewing some of the notable Dalai Lama books I’ve read soon. I warmly urge you to browse through the wide selection of his books and teachings and enjoy his insight, humor, and perspective.

(c) Niconica 2013

There is a certain satisfaction in perusing through the random selections in pre-loved bookshops which is akin to attempting a treasure hunt where one may or may not find the gems one is searching for or perhaps coming across a title which one did not know one was looking for and discovering a whole new selection of pre-loved book choices.

These bookshops contain various books which may be out of print already and have a more random selection of books than is carried by mainstream bookstores which carry new titles or new reprints. The dimension which pre-loved books add to a booklover’s experience is invaluable and the quiet moments spent looking through the titles and skimming the contents to check whether one would be purchasing them are precious.

Books allow different perspectives and various bodies of knowledge to be accessible to a person without the person needing to actually experience them or take the effort to travel. It is a kind of soft adventure which allows us to be able to access a myriad of experiences with a sense of immersion without being completely involved and this is the web of psychological safety which allow us to open our eyes and enjoy a limited sort of thrill while at the time time allowing the written contexts to entertain, impact, or influence is directly or indirectly.

The printed forms of books may soon be rarer due to ecological reasons since we are more aware that inumberable trees are being felled to feed our appetite for the written word yet books and writing will continue to thrive through electronic mediums and allow more people access to more stories and information they chose to without leaving a huge carbon footprint.

These are exciting times indeed and perhaps the gradual phasing out of printed books would cause pre-loved books to be more valued and cherished since people would be involved in sharing and passing forward their books so that others may also enjoy them at less impact on the planetary ecosystem.

(c) Niconica 201

It is with a heavy heart thay i read the link on http://www.jamespotterseries.com where Lippert says that he will be putting the writing of thr fourth book of the lovely James Potter series James Potter and the Morrigan Web on hold so that he may be taken seriously as a writer and not merely a fan fiction writer.

It seems to me that he has proved his mettle with the three James Potter books and it’s sad that he would have to take a break from writing the interesting James Potter series just to prove that he is a serious writer.

Isn’t the mark of a serious writer the passion to tell wonderful stories as evidenced by having millions of readers? And he definitely has a wide readership and a following as he has taken the known HP world a step further.

I just recently finished reading the third book and would be purchasing Lippert’s other books Ruins of Camelot (www.ruinsofcamelot.com) and The Riverhouse (www.riverhousebook.com) to support him in continuing and being able to enthrall us with the James Potter series. Both these books are available on Amazon Kindle.

It’s a pity that his Girl on the Dock (www.girlonthedock.com) book is not available on Amazon Kindle because I’d definitely purchase it too to support a promising writer.

If you are an avid Harry Potter fan and have suffered the post-Potter depression as I have, no doubt the James Potter series (www.jamespotterseries.com) would cheer you up and transport you from the mundane Muggle world back to Hogwarts and the Wizarding World.

(c) Niconica 2012

I’m hoping that G. Norman Lippert continue to write books in the James Potter series. Is book four in the works?

I’m currently reading the kindle edition of the third book as downloaded from http://www.jamespotterseries.com and enjoying it.

I have not finished reading the whole book yet but I’m enjoying it immensely, more than the first two James Potter books.

Lippert is in his element in James Potter and the Vault of Destinies with the setting being in America and has managed to create a compelling American wizarding universe and background and a relatively complex and solid plot.

I look forward to reviewing JP3 when I’ve finished reading it.

(c) Niconica 2012

 

I started reading at a very early age but I’ve always underestimated the usefulness of bookmarks since I’ve always managed to find some sort of makeshift bookmark–a stray piece of cardboard or some spare receipt that I can insert to keep my place when I put a current book down either to do something else to to shift to another book which has another scrap piece of paper inserted to make the place where I left off the previous time.

It is now, a couple of decades into being a bookworm that I start appreciating that proper bookmarks do have their uses and sometimes a piece of scrap paper just doesn’t give the same satisfaction. So I guess it means that in the near future, when I visit my favorite bookshops or novelty stores, aside from perusing the bookshelves, I shall be looking at investing in proper bookmarks… and alas, whole new world opens up to me–the bona-fide bookworm.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Popular literature and culture promote shopping as a therapy–perhaps as a joke but perhaps because it’s also true in a sense that when we are stressed–shopping does make us feel better.

I am stressed but my shopping therapy did not include any clothes or shoes or any fashion items–it included a lot of books. I scoured three Book Sale branches here in the Metro to look for precious finds.

The first branch I visited yielded only one book, but the second and the third proved to be much better in terms of good finds.  The third branch of Book Sale most especially gave me a feeling of satisfaction which I can’t explain.

After all, it doesn’t mean that purchasing these books causes the issues which I have to deal with to go away, but somehow it served as both a welcome distraction and an exciting adventure which only an unread but interesting book provides.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s