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Quarterly Rhapsody: Blogging About Books

Quarterly RhapsodyWhy do I blog about books?

The foremost reason is I love books more than anything else. I was not a big reader until I reached my college years. My high school years were spent trying to fit in with groups that I am no longer interested in. I tried doing that over and over until I realized that it is not really worth it. Why should I change the way I am for the sake of acceptance? I am happy enough being myself, and although I am always alone, I am nevertheless bothered by it.

So I turned into writing. I used to, and still, pour out all my anxieties on notebook after notebook. Then I was introduced to the world of blogging. I found it very convenient so I abandoned my notebooks once I got hooked to blogs. I really got into writing; blogs allowed me to have a voice to an unknown audience. Writing has always been a frustration for me, and the rejection that I experienced with my high school writings didn’t stop me. That, on the contrary, made me strive more. I wanted to hone whatever potential that I had for writing, so I resorted to books to know for myself what good writing is made up.

I remember distinctly that I started really getting into books when a friend lent me a book of essays by a local writer, Jessica Zafra. I loved reading them. She is somehow a literary sensation in the mid 90’s, what with her sarcasm and irony. I decided to buy all her books, particularly the Twisted Series. This writer also talked about the books that she loves, and with her recommendations, I went back to novels.

I say went back  because I read a few novels in high school, but not seriously. To write seriously, maybe I should read seriously as well. Coincidentally, there was a newly opened second-hand book store at one of the malls in my hometown. I barged in and checked out their selections. I was so lost in thought and bliss that I decided right then to build my own library. I was looking at the best sellers. I saw John Grisham, Sydney Sheldon, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, and Danielle Steel. I encountered the last back in high school. In fact, I read around a dozen of her books. That could have been the start of all this reading, but I abandoned my following of her because I realized her works are so similar with each other.

Then I remembered the first novel that I ever read, To Kill a Mockingbird. I wanted to read books like that, huge in theme and all-encompassing in reach. I remembered it won the Pulitzer. At that time, I really didn’t know what the Pulitzer was. I was still at the book store then when I saw The Shipping News. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. I bought it, and I thought of collecting all the winners of the Pulitzer.

Then I read Booker winners as well. And then National Book Critics Circle winners. And classics. And works by Nobel laureates. And I became a book hoarder.

It was not enough for me to just read books. I wanted to rant about them so that I could somehow egg people to read such books. I’d rather see them read worthy books instead of those commercialized ones. So I ended up creating a blog dedicated to the books that are really worthy of one’s time.

But how does one blog about books? Is there a proper way to do it? I checked out other blogs, and I didn’t like them. They would recommend such and such books, books that would eventually be forgotten in a few years. Other blogs are more impressive with their classic choice of books. However, the way the books were blogged about was too high brow for the regular reader.

I wanted to steer away from that type of blogging, from that type of reviewing books. I came up with something. I would review a book in such a way that it doesn’t appear like a review. I would review it without all those adjectives that you often find in book blurbs. I would review it based on the reading experience itself. And I would review it only after a certain period of time has elapsed to see how unforgettable the book was.

And that’s Book Rhapsody. I blog about books because I love books. I blog about books because I enjoy reading. I blog about books because I want to become a better writer. And I blog about books because I’d like to share the beauty of literature to the rest of the world.

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