Reading has been a part of my life for the past two decades. I fell in love with books at a tender age of eight and since then it held a special place in my heart. I sometimes tease my partner that it’s the constant third party in our relationship.Being an active member of Goodreads and a book club where we often meet to have book discussions, go to bookstores or attend a book event paved the way for me to meet a lot of readers for the past years. Since 2011, a Filipino Reader Conference is being held every year in the country to celebrate and provide support for the growing communities of Filipino readers.1 It’s an event where bookworms gather to talk about books. Part of the conference is the Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards. It debuted in 2012 and was established to develop awareness and appreciation of Philippine literature, recognize the reader’s role in creating the meaning and experience of a literary work, and give the readers a voice in the Philippine book industry.2 I’m a member of the awards committee since 2015 and a judge the previous year. The years when my social life only consist of bookish events and friends, the time I spent expanding my reading preference to different genres and raising my read books to probably one thousand now and as well as piling up my To-Be-Read mountain are my basis of what I’m going to talk about in this three part post.
Kinds of Readers. This is purely from my observation, my definition and no factual or research basis. I believe I have met three types of readers.
First are the Pleasure Readers, these are readers who read for pleasure, obviously. Sometimes they read just one genre, or the ones who read based on what they think they would like and the story or character’s relatability. They read because they want to, sometimes they rant, sometimes they sing praises of a book and sometimes they just don’t give a fuck.
Second are the Intellectual Readers, believe me, I have met readers who only read books who’ve won awards like Pulitzer, Noble Prize or the books that are listed in the 1000 books to read before you die. I rarely go into book discourse with them because my brain can’t take the pressure. HAHAHA. Plus, I don’t really read the books they read. At times I find them reader snobs. There are some who look down on readers who don’t read the books they find not for their reading palate. They call it mababaw kasi.
Third are the One off Readers, these are the readers who pick up books because it gone viral or it was turned into a movie or series. These are the readers who annoys the hell out of me. They think they already read the bestest book out there when all they read are the freaking books of E.L. James or Stephanie Meyer. I have nothing against these authors, but come on. You get what I mean, right?
I am more of a pleasure reader. I dabble a little in intellectual reading depending on how hard to read the book and how thick it is. As much as I want to read door stopper novels like Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian or Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, I don’t have the patience to go through it. Almost one thousand pages? No, thanks. I read a lot of genres though I have my favorites and comforts zones and those I don’t really like. I’ll talk about that more later, how I pick up the books I read and how I rate them.
Twenty years, you think I get ever tired of reading? I have my days of reading slump, months even but I always go back to it. There are so many books out there and this lifetime is not enough for me to read even a fraction of them.
What kind of reader are you?
– wl, a.