When I opened my side drawer last night, I found out that I had many unfinished books. I’ve got Ali’s “Infidel” quarter read, Kureishi’s “Love in a blue time” half read, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s children half read and some other books that I haven’t finished yet. This fact makes me wondering why is this happening?
I remember that I started my affection to reading since I was in the primary school. I used to read the Indonesian version of Nina comics series, Enid Blyton books, even the encyclopedia. I always finished what I was reading.
When I was in Junior high school I read a lot of novels and kho ping ho (an Indonesian version of martial arts stories- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kho_Ping_Hoo). I enjoyed reading Agatha Christie’s work cover to cover. I even read almost all of Kho Ping Ho’s and Gan KL’s martial arts stories. These martial arts stories are up to thousands of pages. It was a man’s wallet size book but packed with words and no pictures at all. One story can easily consists of 100 books. I have never known anyone that owned kho ping ho’s books. Everyone I know who read this kind of book borrowed it from a commercial book lenders place. When I was reading kho ping ho’s, the world was not exists, I didn’t care about what was happening around me. I remembered one day when we were going for a family trip, my dad had to stopped the car and took the book off my hand and threw it in the bin in order to make me listen to the conversation and realised what was going on around me. My mom to my defence said that I can’t be blamed of reading too much because he was the one who started it and everytime we went to my grandma’s place in Padang, my uncles kept telling me what books to read next when I finished the one that I was reading.
Not until uni days that I started reading English novels and books. I remembered the first English novel that I read was Judith Krantz’s Princess Daisy. At first, I was quite amazed to learn that I can read, understand (most of it) and finished an English language novel. It took much longer time for me to finished reading it but I enjoyed the challenge.
Nowadays, thanks to my dear Malaysian friend who introduced me to Hermann Hesse, Coetzee, and Kuraishi’s work, I enjoyed reading these kind of books.
So, lately when I found my unfinished book, the question ‘why’ is keep appearing in my mind. I think with the ‘digital age’, I have become more and more impatient. I would like most thing quick, fast and done with. It seems like hard to find time to sit and read. I don’t carry books in my handbag anymore as I used to be. I read news on my mobile sometime or read e-books on my fiancee’s Iphone. Instead, I read excerpt of books online. I spent my time on facebook, emails, youtube, or just browsing the internet.
Well.. maybe one day I’ll take my books to a place where there is no internet connection. Then, I’m sure I’ll read them all.