The Spark Project [13]: Ella

The Spark Project is a semi-regular 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? :)

Featured today on The Spark Project: ELLA

What is the one book that sparked or kindled your love for reading? Describe the circumstances in which you found or discovered it, and how it has affected you.

"Looking for 'the book that started it all' is tough to answer. My passion for reading came from Mom, who reads lots of Liwayway Komiks and Philippine lit from her own time. Maybe, what I can answer is what book that started my love for 'matronic' reading. The term, is coined from a bookish friend, and this refers to the readers who are fond of tearjerkers.

Aside from the required short story reading in the elementary days and required novel reading for High School assignments and book reviews - the first novel that started this guilty pleasure of no-pressure-reading is an English classic - Thomas Hardy's JUDE THE OBSCURE.

I first read the novel in my junior high school.

I learned the author's style of writing through my English teacher. I remember her saying that if one must want to experience the rawness of human will - one should at least read this once in his/her lifetime. And so it goes. At first the pacing is dragging and the language is difficult, but then as I read along the words of tragic situations are very picturesque, that I even imagine that I was one of the omniscient characters, floating around, seeing what they see and feeling what they feel.

Reading that book truly sparked my interest as a matronic reader. As a result, I even love reading a book that bring tears to my eyes, giving me a period of haunting phase - even lingering in my dreams for a day or two. For me, these books are therapeutic, it made me understand how the character thinks when one is in a tough situation, and how one will go about his or her tragic moments. As a reader I also understand more of the human nature and how strong a man's free will is - you learn to understand why did they do such, and you understand that no matter how you want the story to listen to you and be on your side - the character made another choice.

It made me turn into someone who is passionate and less stereotypical . It also made me realize that if one already made a choice, you must respect them. No matter how hard you try to win one to your side - if one made a choice (and it is the other way) - you have to let one be. For you know how strong one's will is.

As a reader, years gone by and I may entertain other works, I always have a period of this guilty pleasure. When I was on the other side of the world, I bought a book - David Nicholl's One Day - and made me cry a river. For one must move on with life, and live like the love of your life is alive. The other books that are considered matronic reads for me are Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon and Nicole Krauss' History of Love. The two books made me realize how passionate a person does something when fate is not with their favor.

Just like the first book that started it all."



Peter S. said…
I've read Thomas Hardy just this year, and let me just say that it was one beautiful reading experience. I never expected to love Hardy. But after reading The Return of the Native, I did put on presentable clothes so that I can go immediately to the bookstore and get all the other Thomas Hardy novels that they have. Unfortunately, Fully Booked Katipunan had only Far From the Madding Crowd and Two on a Tower. But hey, I can't really be choosy, right?
Anonymous said…
I haven't read Thomas Hardy yet, but they say that he's the most depressing Victorian novelist. Sold! Maybe I should start with this (actually, my heart is set to start with Tess of D'Urbervilles).

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