October 10, 2008

Learn to be still...

Waiting must be one of the most tedious job for anyone.

If you are a man, you wait for your wife to finish up shopping. Wait for your date to finish up dressing and making up her face. Waiting for a table. Waiting for things to happen. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for answers.
If you are a woman, you would always be waiting for your husband or boyfriend to follow what you have asked him to do. Wait for him to pick his clothes. Waiting for him to fix the tap. Waiting for him to propose.

Waiting for him to say I love you.

Wait. Wait. Wait.

Our current librarian

So, I was quite intrigued when I heard that there was someone who was doing called a project called Reading While Waiting or RWP which asked people to come to an appointed place (where KL Sentral was chosen) and read for half an hour before dispersing. It happened on 23rd August 2008. Then I discovered the ringleader was actually a young upstart who believes in making things happen, differently than other people. I respect him for his bravery. Visit his website http://randomalphabets.com/ for more information.

I was actually quite amused because reading has been my passion since I was a child. I was given a choice of a few Enid Blyton books as gift every half a month before my parent went off to where they were stationed then leaving me alone with my grandma. When I was taken by my parents to school in the interior of Pahang, I pleasantly discovered the joy of reading through a mobile library. This mobile library is at my beck and call as my father was the highest ranking Felda officer in a Felda division in Pahang. Talk about abuse of my father's power. The driver of the mobile library would always parked his small van (a classic 70s Volkswagen which I would kill to own nowadays) at my father's bungalow quarters which sat atop the highest hill in the place we were stationed. I would then took my sweet time to go through every single book while he wait, usually completing some errands at other places. I would lie down under a tree somewhere and decided whether I would take one or two or maybe three books to borrow. If he was busy, I may even finish a book before he came back. I would be lying on beds, which explain my deteriorating eyesights, finishing the books and the others bought by my parents. Enid Blyton and religious books with pictures, which tell stories about prophets were the books I were hooked into. The Bercakap Dengan Jin series, from the magazine Mastika and Readers Digest were my other favourites.

When my brother came back from the States in 1986, he introduced me to a new different level of reading. I remembered his advice on reading just bestsellers to ensure that the book I choose to read was always read by others. I became a follower of a few authors due to this advice such as Robert Ludlum and Jeffrey Archer. When I went to school at a boarding school, I started to read science fiction by Isaac Asimov and started to collect comic books which I suddenly threw them away, which for the life of me I couldn't remember why. X-Men title were one of my favourite comics. I peppered with all these useless reading (which I was told then) with religious books about Islam such as the Prophet's life.

As I grew up, I started to collect books like stamps. I always buy paperback as it is cheaper and easier to carry. I remembered that book cost RM19.90 once, then RM23.00 before stopping at RM27.90 for a while before it became RM29.90 then hovered between RM32.00 and RM34.90 like nowadays.

I just love spending money on them and I don't want second hand book although there was a stretch of time where I rent books from this mamak bookshop at the Central Market as I was also collecting the Premiere magazine then (another one of my eldest brother's influence) which could only be found there. I remember the first time I saw The Firm by John Grisham which sparked my interest in law and was ecstatic when I read A Time To Kill which was his lesser known first novel. John Grisham and Anne Rice's The Witching Hour (a tome of a book which was one of my first more than 500 pages book) were introduced by one of many family who took me as one of their own when I was a latch key kid. Stephen King were discovered a bit later and I collect his old books even those which was written as non-fiction.

My working adult life saw me starting to read management books, humourous books by Terry Pratchett, Booker prize listed books, Japanese writer's books such as Haruki Murakami, Natsuo Kirano and Koji Suzuki, historical books whether fictions such as the Alexander trilogy by Valerio Massimo Manfredi or non-fictions such as Empire by Niall Ferguson. I read classics such as Alice in Wonderland when I saw a lot of thriller writer quoting from most book written by its writer, Lewis Carrol, and I read autobiography like and travel books like A Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charley Bowman.  

The point is reading stimulates my mind and a friend once said, my wife and I would read anything even if the only thing that we have is an ingredient at the back of a chocolate bar wrapper. The romance with my wife also started because of reading. At either side of our bedside table there are at least 6 books not being read yet at any one time. Reading while waiting had been our life and we would very much love it if there are more bookstore around. Borders and MPH are some of the two where we get our fix on books. We would read just about anywhere.

Our perfect retirement plan is having a restaurant where we can go everyday to (preferebly own by us) and read all day long.


Jumat said...

My friend...

Just to correct you that Siri Bercakap Dengan Jin was actually from Variasari not Mastika. It was more fondly known as SBDJ then. It was popular in the 80ies. I was once hooked to this series too. I stiil even remember the name of the witer, Tamar Jalis who is the sidekick of the hero in this supernatural thriller, his own grandfather.

kruel said...

Silap lah pulak. Nasib baik ada Jumat yang lebih mengetahui. Aku takde tempat nak rujuk

Jumat said...

tak de hal la Pak, biasalah mende dah lama...

Zeeman said...

Tamar Jalis is the pen name- the real writer's name is Ahmad Mahmud- the actor. He passed away quite recently I recall.

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