I’ve been doing things, but I haven’t been doing my things. It feels off and odd to actually sacrifice the time that was given to me hours and hours everyday and none of the days I could eventually spend the time for me. So here I am, trying to write things I wanted to write for long : read things that you like, regardless.
I was only ten, if I recall correctly, when I spent majority of my Lebaran money at the nearest Gramedia in my hometown. I barely spent a lot of money, not even on birthdays or other occasionally “special” days. But when it comes to books, I’m all in. The store was not that far away from my Granny’s house, so we–my cousin and I–took the public transportation a.k.a Angkutan Umum (Angkot). And yes, without our parents.
Time flies, don’t you think? When you’re wandering between the shelves and aisles thousands of books, when everything seems just pretty interesting because it was only you and those twenty-six repeated alphabets? It was hours spent ; choosing the Ones for me, the right compilations of stories that I’d love to endeavor, the escapades I’d like to join in my spare time.
I can’t recall titles but I remember there were stacks of books on the cashier desk and plenty plastic bags I brought downstairs the shop. I was too excited. My face was surely in glee, it catched the whole family’s attentions. Literally. The big family.
“What did you buy, sweatheart?” That’s one question from my aunt, and practically the rest of the big family members. I do not wish to reply, really. Because they’d give that stares if they’re know what I’m buying. But nonetheless, I did.
“Novels….. and uhm… a dictionary I’ve been wanting for so long?” I replied, scared of the expression that they’d gave.
“You should’ve save the money.”
“Why didn’t you buy textbooks?”
“What kind of stories was that?”
“I thought you were reading…”
It goes on and on, and I grew tired buying books in front of them, so I’ve never done that anymore. It feels like I’m a topic, and not a person they’d like to discuss a topic with.
But hey, those bitterness and saltiness ; sweetness and sourness ; all combined to create this messy but beautiful crawl called life. I learned the hard way that it’s actually okay to read things that you liked, regardless the fact that it’s just fiction and surreal.
In case no one ever telling you this : you have all privileges to read any kinds of books you would love to read, as many as you could, as much as the time that you have.
It’s okay if you like reading comic books, go on and on, get obsessed with it.
Poems are also lovely. If you are keen to read one, I do hope you’ll also make a great one one day.
If you are into dystopian kind of fiction–hey we’re on the same path! Continue that voyage you’re currently in ; forget your surroundings for once more, get drowned deep in it!
Even if you’re only passionate in reading captions like Humans of New York’s, I truly hope you will always, always read the captions every pictures they uploaded in Instagram.
Because the most important thing for you is to read. Not many realized this, but reading anything, whatever it is by all means, will help you a lot later or sooner in your life. It wasn’t quotes about newspapers that were famous and laid in the hearts of millions people, right? It was only about reading.
Started from reading unrealistic things, I find myself easier to digest and kind of take a look of the real things from my surroundings. It’s like the knowledge I got from unrealistic stories helped me to clear my glasses, to let me see the world as vulnerable as it is, as crystal clear that it possibly can.
Those imaginary scenes–they helped me finding the right words to speak to people. More accurate words that I can pour into writings. Life lessons, that absurdly more relatable than the ones I heard directly from people.
“You should’ve done something more productive…”
It’s okay. Judgement do comes from people. It’s a consequent things that of course happened because we’re all human, and we have the ability to think and utter our opinions.
Whatever it is that you’re reading, it’s not an act of wasting time. Heads up. You are not doing the wrong thing. Never been. It’s for you and not for them anyway. You have to listen to your surroundings at times, but most of the times you just have to follow your own decisions and have faith in it.
even on the smallest thing like this–reading books that you actually like.
May your day filled with joy,
PS. Here’s some of my favorite words from my favorite people about reading. I hope you really read more books that you like to read after reading them!
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.”
― Gustave Flaubert
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin,
“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!