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shining lemon
On a re-reading kick of DWJ's books.

Haven't been reading any books for the past few years, partly due to work, real life commitments, big move across continents, marriage and now that I've finally have some time to myself... my love for reading has caught up with me again. People just can't stay away from doing the things they love for long, I think.

And as I read, I realised something: how I missed reading GOOD books and DWJ's literary style!

As a young child, I was a voracious reader. I'd read anything and everything that I could get my hands on. Weekly trips to the library were a chore to my mum because she had to help me lug back 12 books every single time. That changed as I grew up; I could go to the public library myself and bring back all the books myself too. My zeal for reading didn't go away even with increasing schoolwork. And then somehow, it just went away when I hit my mid-twenties mysteriously.

I highly suspect that it was because I'd read a lot of good books and there just weren't many more good ones left for me to find out. A walk to the bookshop nowadays leaves me disappointed and hollow, a flip through the pages of so-called bestsellers would make me shake my head or cringe. I'm no literary critic, but only a pathetic few caught my eye, or my heart. The last bestseller I'd remember reading was 'The Book Thief' and I was astonished; how could this be good? To me, that novel was like a beggar pretending to be a rich man. Maybe I'm exaggerating, but nonetheless, I wasn't impressed and was sad that I'd wasted my money and precious time over such a book. The last book that I remember amazing me was 'How to Breathe Underwater'. Now, that, is a good book (short stories). I've re-read it thrice. But I only remember that.

Maybe I haven't been following up with the literary world, or maybe as I grow older, my interests and tastes have narrowed down to such a point that I've become very picky with what I deem good, and therefore, what I'd want to read (and continue to the end). Even the books/reading-related LJ communities that I used to subscribe to have now become ... desolate. So quiet. No more new posts, no more new reviews, no more contributions etc.

Is it the Internet, or social networking, that has created this dearth of good, gripping books? Back before the Internet was invented, a lot of people seem to love reading. The slow yet fulfilling gratification, happiness and joy one can get from reading a good story has now seemingly been challenged by the instant yet hollow gratification one gets from the Internet: pornography, FaceBook (gossip and eavesdropping in another form), YouTube... no don't get me wrong, I'm not pushing the blame onto the Internet (I do love it), I'm just postulating. People say that libraries are dying out because of e-books and whatnot, but sometimes I wonder if it's really true.

I used to see a lot of people reading (regardless of the material), in the bus, on the grass, wherever a good spot of sunshine or light can be found during my time. But the kids nowadays seem to be more engrossed with their phones, playing games, surfing FaceBook, chatting with their friends (why not face-to-face? again I wonder) etc. I know adults (including me) do read news on the Internet etc, be it via a computer or phone or tablet, but I'm talking about reading. Has anyone realised that kids nowadays don't really fancy reading? They hardly know any good books.

Or maybe, I just don't see the literary nerds or geeks around anymore. 


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