The Spark Project [10]: BENNARD

The Spark Project is a monthly blog feature where a reader and/or book blogger is invited to talk about that one book that sparked his/her interest in books and reading. He/She will tell us about the what-when-where-why-and-how of this topic, how his/her reading habits have evolved since encountering that book, and so on. Wouldn't it be fun and interesting as well to know how a fellow book lover discovered the wonderful world of books? :)

Hi guys! It's been all kinds of busy during the holidays that I missed posting a year-ender for The Spark Project. But it's a brand new year, so for those who have been faithfully reading this blog and anticipating the (almost) monthly posts for this features project, you can expect to "meet" more new faces and bookworms in the months to come.

For the first month of the year, Bennard of The Book Hooligan has graciously accepted my offer to be featured on the project.

Fresh from the F2F13

I first met Bennard at the book club's June F2F discussion of The Fellowship of the Ring. Prior to that meeting, I hadn't even "met" or "spoken" to him online. So when he first spoke up to answer one of our moderator's prepared questions, I asked my buddy, Who's that guy? to which I got the answer, Yung "anak-anakan" ni -----. :D Six months and six F2Fs, one Christmas party, several book club meet-ups and LOTS of Twitter conversations later, Bennard has conveniently "shed" that association, and I am happy to claim him (and his significant other, Rhena!) as one of my good friends in the book club. :)

Bennard articulately blogs about his reviews and thoughts over at The Book Hooligan. Drop him a line, will you? :)


1. What is the one book that sparked or kindled your love for reading? Describe the circumstances in which you found or discovered it.

I know that you asked for only one book but there are actually two books that changed my life. I have been reading since I was a kid but it was mostly to pass time when the TV is not available or when we cannot play games because it's raining outside or because we're being punished. At that time, I like reading but I wouldn't choose it over the TV or games.

However, everything changed because of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. Mind you, I started with the second book because it was the one that my mom could find. After reading Chamber, I felt that I wanted to read more so I put my hands on every book that my mom gave me. Narnia, Hardy Boys, To Kill a Mockingbird, and several others. At that point, I love reading.

The 2nd book that changed my life was One Hundred Years of Solitude. If Chamber of Secrets kindled my general love of reading, One Hundred Years kindled my specific love of the literary genre. I haven't read anything like it before. Even now, I cannot describe it accurately and the only thing that I can say is that it made me fall fully in love with literature. And, once again, this book was given by my mom.

2. How has it affected you - both your life in general and as a reader?

Those two books affected me in such a profound way. It's a cliche to say that books change lives but it is true in my case. I have learned so many things from books and it affected how I thought about the world in general. People often consider me queer for my liberal opinions especially in such a conservative country like the Philippines but I just shrug them off, protect my own beliefs but still making sure that I respect their own.

Sometimes I wonder what my life would be if, for the two birthdays that I have had, I received toys instead of the two books mentioned above? I'm sure I would have been a different person. Maybe I wouldn't be a reader and I wouldn't have discovered the very beautiful worlds that exists within the pages of the book.

Chamber and One Hundred Years taught me so much about life and its intricacies that I make it a point to reread them every once in a while. That's the least that I can do for the books that made a tremendous impact in my life.


Thank you so much, Bennard, for sharing with us the books that have sparked your love for reading. Cheers to more books and book hooliganisms! :D


Anonymous said…
Two sparks in one post! Looks like 2013-2014 will be HP years for me.
Louize DG said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Yay for Harry Potter! <3
This post encouraged me somewhat to read One Hundred Years of Solitude. I have a copy of it but I've delayed reading it because I keep thinking I can't reach its level somehow! Nevertheless, I might read it sometime this year because of this :D
Louize DG said…
Sorry I fumbled with my first comment. I meant to say...

Yay, the project is back!
And, another round of applause for HP, please!
Lynai said…
The project is back! It's nice to more about Bennard even if we haven't met in person yet! :D

Yay to Narnia! And more yay to mothers who feed our reading passions! :)

bennardfajardo said…
Yay.:) Thanks, Monique, for "featuring" me in your blog. It's really quite the honor and pleasure.:)
Tina said…
Monique: your intro to Bennard had me chuckling. Haha! I thought he was a too serious person, and it turns out it was all a facade. ;)

Bennard: Yay Harry Potter! :D GGM kind of intimidated me, especially when my friend had a hard time reading it when we were in college, but then since I'm exploring genres anyway, I will probably read that sometime, too. :)

Ampogi naman ni Bennard!

But darling, you are not queer. :) Cheers to Harry Potter!

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