Tag Archives: Umberto Eco

Journeying with words and books

I devoted much of the day by sorting and cleaning our books. Because we have lost many books¬† from Ondoy’s floods back in 2009, hubby and I are slowly but joyfully growing the collection again. :) Many of the books that I had collected when I was still single are still with me although some are in storage, left in boxes when I left the country back in 2007.

It always brings me so much joys just to see (and touch!) printed words on paper. I began to seriously take up the hobby of reading when I was in high school and, indeed, my life had been made richer and more meaningful because of the many journeys that I was able to take just by simply reading. My travels had also been more profound because of the companionship of authors like Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Amy Tan, Umberto Eco, Jose Rizal, and many other great weaver of stories. (I do enjoy light reading, too, so I am not ashamed to admit that I have many chick-lit titles as well!) ;D

Books that stay with me. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Books that stay with me. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

I think that even with the event of eBooks and Kindle, I would always be buying hard-bound books and paperbacks. eBooks bring so much convenience especially when one is traveling but nothing compares with seeing rows and rows of books on one’s walls, shelves, and even floors! It is just so romantic, don’t you think so, too? While wiping the dust from our well-loved books, I thought about taking their pictures and here are some of them.

Some of our business books.

Some of our business books.

I am aware that many people¬† disagree with many of the ideas and opinions of Robert Kiyosaki but I would still recommend his Rich Dad, Poor Dad as a basic reading. There are certainly better books than this one but Kiyosaki’s simple style of narration makes reading on financial independence and wealth building more engaging. His other books like the Guide to Investing also offer practical tips but, still, one is advised to be very discerning when following any of his (and even other authors’) recommendations especially when it comes to money and business matters.

Here’s another peek at our titles…

Love books, learn new languages, appreciate history! (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Love books, learn new languages, appreciate history! (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

I got lucky that I was born on June 19 and that means I share Rizal’s birthday. :) Perhaps, many of those who share his birthday would admit that they, too, enjoy reading, writing, traveling, and other forms of communicating. I guess we will always have this hunger for knowledge, experiences, travels, and to some extent, new languages. I took up a basic course in French language in Dhaka, Bangladesh many years ago and, this year, hubby and I decided to be conversant in the language. Luckily, Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street had this complete volume in French (Living Language series). It contains 3 books and 9 CDs! It was indeed a more practical alternative to attending regular classes because with the e-files, you can easily rewind, forward, and repeat sessions for as long as you want, and for as many times as you want, minus the risk of irritating a teacher or classmates!

Back to Jose Rizal – I would really recommend that every Filipino read (or re-read, depending on the case) Noli Me Tangere. It is Rizal’s most popular book, possibly the book that profoundly influenced a lot of Filipinos who fought for our independence.

And to show more of our well-loved titles…

Food for the soul. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Food for the soul. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Not to sound preachy, but I am sure many hold the Holy Bible as a personal companion, a source of guidance, and a symbol of God’s love to humanity. Hubby and I found this beautiful copy (bound and protected by a nice blue leather) in National Book Store. I count myself lucky, too, to have found this 4-volume series on the Mangyan culture (special thanks go to the Mangyan Heritage Center for selling these books to me when I visited their office early this year). The Philippines is a culturally-diverse country so we must do our best to know more of our culture and history. For other readings that are sure to soothe your soul and give you positive feelings, we also recommend The Celestine Prophecy and The Tenth Insight by James Redfield.

These are JR's favorite books! (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

These are JR’s favorite books! (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

I have been blessed with a husband who patiently and lovingly cooks for me. Friends know that I lack talent in the kitchen so the following books are not actually in my ‘territory’ but they deserve a spot here because through this post, I want to thank my loving husband for having the talent, diligence, (and immense patient?) to prepare wonderful meals for me. (Thank you, my Papa Bear!) Indeed, it is true that when we pray, we should always be specific! I prayed for a husband who knows how to cook and he gave this person with culinary talent and much much more!

Grab a book and weave your own stories. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Grab a book and weave your own stories. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

Of course, I admire Asian* writers! One of my favorites is Ms. Amy Tan. I remember the time when I was reading her The Joy Luck Club, I knew instantly that it deserved a film adaptation (which eventually happened) because her characters are so real, they speak to you like a friend or an old relative. I can go on and on about her and her works but I’d rather that you discover her on your own. I also have full admiration to the writing style of Arundhati Roy. I also like discovering authors myself (minus the influence of reviews or bestsellers’ lists) because that is the only way we can find new treasures.

And so my and hubby’s journey continues. Along the way, we will discover new places, meet new friends, and become conversant in French and other languages. We’re excited every day day because we know that in each step, in every new encounter, in every new book that we will buy and read, there will always be beautiful lessons and stories, intertwined with our own.

I will end this by sharing with you a habit, which I would always do every time I bring home a book. In every copy of book that I own, I would usually write the date when and place where I bought it. This way, every book also shares some kind of link with my own ‘herstory.’

A book bought in Bangladesh. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Bangladesh. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Cambodia. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Cambodia. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Singapore. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Singapore. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Thailand. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

A book bought in Thailand. (Photo taken by Mary Anne Velas-Suarin)

What are you waiting for? Grab a book now and be happily brought to magical places! Soar high and reach your dreams!

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*As much as possible, I do avoid categorizing writers (and people) according to their nationalities. (After all, our talents are part of who we are, regardless of our race.) However, I am simply awed by such great talents, who, incidentally, have Asian roots and heritage, and so I ask for your kind indulgence.

This is not a paid blog. (I do not ask for any donation but I hope you can plant a tree on your birthday/s.)

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