This tag was created by Penguin Teen to celebrate The Reader by Traci Chee and as a reader I thought it would be fitting if I partake in it. I encourage any reader to do this and leave some comments below answering any or even all of the questions in this tag.
What’s the first book you fell in love with?
I have to say I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Dr Maya Angelou. This book is the first book I read outside my prescribed reading from school and it really started off my reading journey. I am a huge fan of Dr. Angelou as a writer (whether it is poetry or novels) and this book was beautifully written. I love that she gives such a real unfiltered experience of her life in a way that is poetic, tugs at your heart strings and gives you lessons to take with you throughout life.
Hardcover or paperback?
I prefer hardcover books solely because aesthetically they are more pleasing. I do however have more paperback books because hardcover books tend to be ridiculously more expensive.
How has reading shaped your identity?
Reading is my escape from the real world. When I read I completely unplug from the world (no social media, no talking to people) and just take in the text and try to be in the world the writer is trying to create for me. I find that that ‘letting go’ has transitioned into helping me let go of things and people that serve me no favours or purpose.
What book do you read when you need to be comforted?
I don’t have a specific book, more a genre of choice. Honestly, when I am feeling down for some or other reasons I tend to reach for books that engage me mentally, have a storyline that requires me to play ‘detective’ and keeps me on my toes. Recently when I was in a slump I read If I Did It by Domnick Dunne, O.J Simpson and Pablo Fenjves. It follows O.J’s account of what life was like between him and Nicole until the night of the murder. From then on the story is told from a hypothetical point of view of how he would have murdered Nicole and Ron had he actually been the “real” murderer. Books like this suck me in and the reader role of trying to figure out where there are loopholes in the case or falsifications in the accused’s accounts is enough to help me not think about whatever is bothering me.
Who taught you to be a reader? (Or did you do it all on your own?)
I have always had an interest in reading and it is something my uncle always tries to instill in all the children in my family-a culture of reading. Nobody really taught me how to be a reader, it’s just something I picked up, loved and have been doing since I can remember.
Describe your dream reading lounge
I imagine my reading lounge being in a cabin will endless walls of book shelving. The walls are made from brick and the flooring hard wood… Mahogany. In the middle of the room there’s a chaise, where I can relax and delve into a book. Facing the chaise is an old school traditional open hearth fireplace that is always burning during my reading moments. I feel like I should give my room a scent… A lingering old book musk and a hint of pine, that’ll do.
What book has changed the way you act or see the world?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald has galvanized the way I see the world. I have learned that people will always make nice with you if you are beneficial to them. Take for instance Gatsby, hundreds of people attended his lavish parties for entertainment, socializing, drinking but none of them showed up for his funeral. Gatsby as a character has also taught me that people put on facades to mask issues that run deep within them.
A love lesson that I learned is that love can be a very complicated thing, case-in-point
- Myrtle is obsessed and in-love with Tom but Tom is just using her for pleasure and his loyalty (and I say that very loosely) is to Daisy
- Gatsby spent his life working hard to be wealthy and be with the girl of his dreams (Daisy) but she continued to stay with her adulterous husband.
This book has taught me that when it comes to people, things aren’t black and white… There is a whole lot of grey and there’s more than meets the eye. This was a prescribed reading in high school and it is the most memorable novel I have read.
Comment some of your answers from this tag below.