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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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bookworm

Book Talk: Forgive me book-god for I have sinned

“So many books, so little time,” says a book hoarder who promised two minutes ago not to buy any more books until her TBR list gets cleared.

At the onset of 2020, I made a promise to minimize my spontaneous book buying and to start reading the ones that are piling up on my shelf. I told myself to buy books only ─ and only if ─ absolutely necessary such as coming across must-reads or hard-to-find copies. But little did I know I was bound to cheat on that faithful afternoon on February when I entered Booksale and saw Velocity by Dean Koontz.

Fast forward to September, I find myself having my highest number of book haul in a month. Six books.

I know this desire to buy more books than what I can read in a lifetime is a universal guilty pleasure for book lovers. The question is, should we feel bad about it? Are we taking away the true essence of a book which is to be read? I cannot speak for others but, in my defense, here are three reasons of what triggers me to hoard books:

1. The bookstores. Do I even have to explain this? Here in the Philippines, the biggest distributors of books are National Bookstore, Fully Booked, and Booksale. The delight of walking along bookshelf aisle, the excitement of what awaits in book pages, the smell of books, old and new. Who would not be tempted to buy a book?

2. Book rescue. I have mentioned in my previous post that buying pre-loved books is one of my bookish fetish. I am a sucker for them. Aside from frequenting Booksale, I follow legit pre-book resellers, join “pasabuy” Facebook groups, turns on notification for book listings on marketplace, and just recently included Shoppee and Lazada in my go-to sites. I have always believed that every book deserves a home and this is my little way of helping. It’s like animal rescue, only books. Plus, hey, it’s a very cheap bargain too!

3. Happy hormone booster. Dopamine? Serotonin? Oxytocin? Whenever I add another member to my growing family of books, I feel like all my happy hormones are spiked up. If I am not reading or writing, buying books is my next resort during gloomy days.

Some people would say that book hoarding is a sin or a shame. That it is just vanity and greed masked as love for books. But as long as you are doing what you enjoy the most, shrug it off.

Wrap-Up | August 2020

Monthly Blog Update

Hello, everyone! A month has passed since my first wrap-up post and finally, we’ve reached the onset of “BER” months. Have you seen early signs of Christmas on your end? 

In the Philippines, we do not only have a Christmas Day. The country celebrates the world’s longest Christmas season, starting as early as September 1. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people have been counting down the days when we can “legally” great each other Merry Christmas.

As for me, I have been contently taking things slow. August was a time for communing with myself and looking inwardly. 🙂

But even with my absence, I can say that it has been a productive month for two main reasons. First, I have mentioned in my last Blog Update: Optimizing absence that I have been working on cleaning up my storage space. It is still ongoing and I have been reading and learning more about optimization too. Second, I find my #WriteMyOwnHeadline project kind of actually fun. 😀 Now, for the recap…

Things I’ve written…

In the early days of August, I found myself writing Three days later, a short story inspired by an old Haibun I wrote about the tragedies of love and war.

But, as this is not a creative month for me, most of my posts were musings and reflections about life, writing and my journey as a writer.

Books I’ve read…

In my previous wrap-up, I shared that my work life has overtaken my reading life. Until now, I have not reopened Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls.

However, I am happy to share that my bookish heart was healed by Mitch Albom’s Human Touch. It is a unique serialized story of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic, set in the present time. Every weekly chapter left me with a much-needed food for the soul. If you have not read it, I highly recommend you give it a try and let me know your thoughts. 😀

August 9 was also a Book Lover’s Day and I wrote about my bookish pet peeves and fetish here: Book Talk: Bookish Pet Peeves and Fetishes.

Despite my reading slump, another book was added to my haul. James gave me Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept which I am looking forward to read this September. I also bought two pre-loved books online — Thoreau’s Walden & Civil Disobedience and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe — which are scheduled to arrive this month.

Places I’ve been…

In my inability to travel, I was able to reflect on my previous outdoor experiences. I have taken note on the little things, little moments that truly matter in life. Mt. Kalatkat: The things we give and take is one of the results of this introspection.

Posts I loved…

Truth is I’ve been reading more from Brainpickings and ThoughtCatalog than my Reader tab. I most probably missed a lot of great content from my friends here in WP during the month of August. Apologies. I will be a better virtual neighbor next time.

Still, I’d like to share these great reads that you might like.

Looking back, it’s been productive (and peaceful) month. Here’s to hoping for better days this September! 🌻

Book Talk: Bookish Pet Peeves and Fetishes

It’s that time of the year again… Happy Book Lover’s Day, everyone!

August 9 is a day for bibliophiles, bookworms and reading addicts around the world to celebrate their love of books. Although it is an unofficial holiday, people never run out of fun ways to commemorate this day — from visiting libraries and bookstores, re-reading old favorites, hosting parties and book clubs, showcasing awesome bookshelves and book hauls, recommending must-reads, and many more. Did the quarantine help you pursue your bookish delights?

The first two quarters of the year were productive for me. I’ve read more books than I had last year which is an incredible feat. But, halfway through June, work started piling up. It dragged on and to this day, I haven’t had a decent read.

So, for now, I’m sharing my personal pet peeves and fetishes when it comes to reading. Can any of you relate?

Pet Peeves

  1. Interruptions while reading
  2. Having no one to talk to after reading an awesome book
  3. Plot changes in movie adaptations
  4. Careless borrowers
  5. When a book got the movie poster as cover
  6. When someone judges a book without reading it

Festishes

  1. Having your dream bookshelves
  2. Hoarding!
  3. The scent of a book
  4. Paperback copies
  5. Preloved books
  6. Highlighting favorite quotes/intriguing lines
  7. A good book hug after a good read
  8. Making your own bookmarks
  9. When you have a complete copy of your favorite series
  10. Covering books

Book Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Genre: Nonfiction/Autobiography/Essays
Copy: Online (LINK HERE)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Synopsis: The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother — his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Continue reading “Book Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah”

Book Talk: When poetry does not come easy, read.

The last time I wrote a poem, I was mad. Angry and frustrated with the world, the people, the reality — everything. And though it feels so good to pour these emotions on paper, I miss the other triggers to my writings. I miss writing about smiles, laughters, tears of joy. Even writing about heartache brings you loving memories. I miss the girl who likes spinning castle in the air. I need to call her back.

So, for now, while the ink stays dry, let’s read. 🥀❤️


These two books of poetry and prose were written by Rod Marmol, a poet here in the Philippines. How about you? What are you reading this weekend?

Book Review: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

Genre: Fictional autobiography
Copy: Paperback
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Short Synopsis: Set on a Bengali noble’s estate in 1908, this is both a love story and a novel of political awakening. The central character, Bimala, is torn between the duties owed to her husband, Nikhil, and the demands made on her by the radical leader, Sandip. Her attempts to resolve the irreconcilable pressures of the home and world reflect the conflict in India itself, and the tragic outcome foreshadows the unrest that accompanied Partition in 1947.

What I liked:

1. The characters. Each POV from the three central characters brought me to their shoes. I struggled with Nikhil in keeping his morals, I lost my way to sensationalism and terror with Bimala, and I breathed in Sandip’s clouded fanaticism. These internal turmoil that each character go through make the story relatable.

2.The depth in this slim volume. It talks about infatuation — one that goes beyond the physical attraction. It weights the pros and cons of being infatuated with an idea. It tackles the concepts of freedom and bondage, pitting rationalism, nationalism and humanism against each other, backdropped by the political scenario of the Swadesi movement.

3. Tagore’s poetic power. I know people did not miss the faulty translations but that did not hamper Tagore’s beautiful prose.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore”

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Life

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

It is never quite safe to think we have done with life. When we imagine we have finished our story, fate has a trick of turning the page and showing us yet another chapter.

 L.M. Montgomery, Rainbow Valley

Here is a great reminder from L.M. Montgomery in these trying times. When all seems lost and hopeless, when nothing seems to go right, when giving up is a lot easier than holding on, may we be reminded to seek and see life’s magic and endless surprises. In a child’s eyes, in a stranger’s smile, in the colors of the sky, in moonlit nights. May these not-so-little things give us reasons to carry on. One day at a time. 🌻💛

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – THUG LIFE

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everyone.

Angie Thomas’ novel revolves around this redefined meaning of THUG LIFE by Tupac Shakur, popularly known as 2Pac.

It follows 16-year-old Starr Carter whose uneasy balance between her poor neighborhood and her fancy suburban school is shattered when she witnesses the shooting of her best friend at the hands of a police officer. His name is Khalil, but the world calls him a thug. Everyone wants to know what went down that night. But Starr’s decision to stay silent or to speak comes with a risk for her people and her life.

Some people snicker at the thought of reading books under the young adult genre. They have this stereotyped belief that YA novels are shallow, sappy and superficial. They rarely see it as an avenue for discussing socio-political issues. But Angie Thomas proves these people wrong.

Without mincing her words, she delves into the most delicate and controversial subjects in America and the world today: racism, oppression, privilege and broken justice system. The book is thought-provoking without being preachy. It gave me different perspectives to look into. It made me introspect on what I have done and what I would do when faced with these issues. Other than posting about the hashtags and signing every petition there is, do I have it in me to act against racism, oppression or injustice?

In the end, this novel goes to warn the society that what it gives (hate/violence/injustice) to little infants (the poor/minority/less fortunate) will always come to haunt them. The THUG LIFE cycle continues…

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Iron and Ironies

Featured quote for Writer's Quote Wednesday

Today we are surrounded by man and his creations. Man is inescapable, everywhere on the globe, and nature is a fantasy, a dream of the past, long gone.

Michael Crichton, Congo

My first foray into the written world of Michael Crichton was Congo. James, who loves the man as much as Dan Brown, never missed to mention his works whenever we talk about books. So I guess this is where curiosity killed the cat but satisfaction brought it back comes in.

The 1980 sci-fi novel centers on an expedition searching for rare blue diamonds and investigating the mysterious deaths of a previous expedition in the dense tropical rainforest of the Congo. At first I was worried that I’d be stuck in the complicated science and technical jargon but as it turns out, Crichton is a great de-jargonizer. I found myself immediately engaged in the story that capsulized science, history, and geography in each and every page.

Which brings me to this week’s WQW, Iron and Ironies. Congo left me emotionally, mentally and morally disturbed. In a simple story it raised provocative questions that I found hard to answer.

To what extent is animal cruelty? Is it limited to performing experiments/animal research? How about throwing lobsters on a boiling pot? Sticking pigs on bamboo poles? Exterminating rats? Do ALL animals have rights or just a selected few? Does man get to give them the reason to stay alive as a species?

These questions led me to reflect on our deeply ingrained habit of meat eating, on the equality among animals, and man’s idea of speciesism. I know there are multiple sides to these multifaceted issues and I would love to hear a thing or two from you. 🙂

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