Archive for November 2014

How My Reading Habit Started


Recently, I have been very busy with books. Starting around December last year, I have become a book geek eventually.

I started reading at a very early age. By the time I get into kindergarten, I already able to read a small book, while most of classmates by that time couldn't. Thanks to my mother for that.

When I was young, my mother decided to leave her work and became a full-time housewife. We didn't really have money back then, but my mother never thought that as our disadvantage. Being a bit poor, didn't mean I was excluded from education. We might not be able to buy books used by other children in order to learn reading, but my mother never thought of buying those books at all.

My father used to work at some kind of place that allowed him to bring back stack of papers for home use. All I could remember was, the papers were very high in quality and not the ordinary one we used at school. It has a very soft yellow color and the name of the company that provide the papers were written in golden cursive. Pretty, isn't it?

My mother made use of these pretty papers for my first education in reading. She wrote alphabets and taught me the pronunciation of those alphabets. When I could pronounce every alphabet with no difficulties, she wrote syllables on the papers and taught me to pronounce them. Gradually, I have gone to the most difficult level where she wrote all these difficult sentences, but I still managed to read them without difficulties. This happened before I get into kindergarten. By the time I got into my own class in my kindergarten, I have no problem at all to read.

The habit of reading started from my parents themselves. My father doesn't read much but he knows how essential it is for me to start reading during my early age. So he always bought collections of story books for me whenever he has extra money.

There was this one time where I was super desperate for a new reading material but I have none. Me and my father happened to drop by a small newspaper stall. I saw a magazine (for adults, actually) and I asked my father if he can buy me the mag. He took a closer at the magazine and of course, he said no. But then, he asked the seller if there is any good reading material for kids like me. And the seller showed him a magazine called 'Asuh'. After that month and beyond, I always get an Asuh monthly.

My mother on the other hand, is a geek herself so she always convinced me that I need to read books. When I was out of books to read, she took me to the town library. The library is just a two storey old building, painted with white color. It is beautiful even up until now. I always get excited whenever I have to go there and I always borrow two books to keep me occupied every week. Back then, I always have interest in kids encyclopedia and investigation books.

My mother always helps me when it comes to picking out a fiction book. Most of the books that I choose to read were full of mysteries. You know, like all those Enid Blytons' and Siri Hadi. That is where I started to read fictional books. My mother really thinks that fiction books will teach me to be creative and more intelligent. Haha.

When I grew up a bit, my grandparents (book geeks as well), started to supply me with more books. If my father has no time to get me more books, they will.

When I started reading Harry Potter, usually, I borrowed my friend's since the book is very expensive and there was no way I can buy them until I finished the third book. My friend herself had not bought the fourth book yet, so I have to stop reading Harry Potter for a while.

I made a habit of following my grandmother to bookstores because she won't let me go home without a new book. I didn't mind at all if the book is cheap, all I want to do is to read the book. My grandmother always bought the cheap books for me so I can read. One day, I showed her the fourth and fifth book of Harry Potter. The fourth book costs about 45 bucks while fifth costs 50 bucks, I think. They were very expensive.

My father to buy the fourth book while my grandmother told me that she will buy the fifth book and she did. It was so cool! I mean, you know, when you didn't have money to buy books and suddenly you got them. It feels like receiving a Christmas present from Santa!

And as most you know, my reading does not decrease at all. Even up until now, I read books. Fictional most of them since I have found no fun at all reading other things than that. There are a lot of my friends that judge those books that I read. I said nothing, but I want to say something now.

"I'm so sorry that I can't respect your words as much as you can't respect my books."

You see, not everyone can read the same genre of books as you, I respect that as long as you read, regardless the genres. So, I decided that I should read fictions, consists of fantasy and dystopian. I have found a lot of things in those imaginary worlds. Things that most of us can't explain.

Thanks to my parents and my grandparents for supporting me for this passion. You guys made me see those things that you guys will never know need to be explained.

p/s: So, to any parents out there, please do not stop supplying books for your kids. Books are magical portals. 

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English Essay for SPM

Write a story that ends with ".....I was surrounded by darkness."

     The story began on this very pleasant day of November, which meant, a thin layer of ice covering the ground with the sun barely show itself. This happens every year in Freeport. People might think it is annoying to walk around in cautious manner since the ground is exactly like a skating rink even without the ice skates. I didn’t really like the ice myself until that particular day.

     I was stepping with all the grace I own towards my car, parked right in front of the entrance hall of my school. Luckily, there will be no school tomorrow or else, I will be suffering this dreadful phenomenon all again.

     “Hey, Val! Drive safe!” someone shouted behind me and when I looked over my shoulder, I saw Nick Bottom from my Biology class. I smiled and waved him from where I was standing, putting a wide gap between my two feet to stabilize myself. Suddenly, someone wearing a jacket with a hood covering his head pushed me aside. My feet flew from the ground, leaving me landing on my spine. The sky above me suddenly became dark and a shadow fell into my vision.

     “God! I’m so sorry,” Gale Hutcherson said with his hand spread out towards me. His sparkling ocean blue eyes looking straight into mine with his guilty smile washed all the pain out of my spine.
Maybe because of my numbness, Gale decided to hunch over my figure and reached out for my shoulder to help me stand on my feet. I was startled to feel his fingers over the layer of my jacket, as if they have electricity in them. 

     “Are you okay?” he said with his dark eyebrow arched with concern.

     “Sure, I… I… I think I’m good,” I told him, trying to hold myself together. This guy is not just an ordinary guy. He is my crush since 7th grade. Captain of our basketball team and absolutely, one of the most beautiful things God allowed me to see.

     Slowly, he moved his hand off me with his beautifully curved lips saying, “Maybe you should try to walk first before saying that.” Slowly, I tried to move my right leg forward and a rush of pain and ache attacked my back, producing a small scream out of my throat. Gale’s grips suddenly reached for me before I hit the ground below my feet again.

     “Well, we have a fixed answer here. Come, let me drive you home,” he said, pushing his body to my side and properly pushing me away from my car. Before he could drag me further, I told him that I have to drive my car home. He gave me the most stunning smile I could ever receive from a boy and told me that he will pick me up later to fetch my car.

     “It is my fault anyway,” he added without taking off the stunning crooked smile.

     That day and beyond, we started to text each other and hang out together every weekdays at school or outside school. I told him that I have zero skills at all in sports. He thought that was silly and the next day, he brought me to his house and taught me how to throw a basketball at his yard. When I found out that he have no clue at all about Chemistry, I offered him a free tutoring every weekend. Even with the biggest reluctance in his voice, he agreed by saying, “That will be the only way to see you during weekend, I guess.”

     To my surprise, Gale is nothing like what I heard. Despite of his popularity in school, he is super humble and polite towards me. I heard all the gossips about him and some of the cheerleaders’ girls but during our time together, he never mentioned them and they never come to attack me either. We also used to play around with each other’s cellphones, but nothing in his phone presenting the idea of him seeing other girl than me. That’s a good thing.

     During Christmas break, Gale usually go to his grandparents’ in Fort Wayne which takes 4 hours of driving from our town. A day before he off to his grandparents’, Gale called me, asking me out for a drink. We met at our regular spot, a cafĂ© across his neighborhood. Although the sky was all grey and threatened with snow rain, my eyes were particularly looking at the loveliness of the snow around me which was rare. Gale came 4 minutes later, handing out a rectangular box wrapped in red and a golden ribbon around it. He ordered a cup of coffee.

     “Why didn’t you order two?” I asked, forming a light steam from my mouth.

     “I want to share one last cup with you,” Gale said while his body leaning over the table between us. For a while, our distance allowed me to take a closer look at his diamond shaped face. Strong jaw line, symmetrical lips, long lashes, his eyes a bit glassy in the cold, I wondered if Gale is a real boy or I was dreaming meeting a fictional character.

     When I reached home, I grabbed my pen knife from my study desk and carefully tore the red wrapper. With tenderness, I folded the red wrapper and stuffed it together with the gold ribbon into a wooden box I use to keep my special memories. The rectangular box was actually a book entitled, “Love in Snow”. Attached to the cover of the book was a note, saying, “I can’t write you a poem or a short story so, please, read this book. It contains everything I want to tell you.” 

     That was the last piece I had from Gale Hutcherson to keep him in my heart. Fort Wayne was snowing heavily and the traffic became worst the day Gale departed to his grandparents’. Most of the highways were closed so I thought Gale will be coming back and celebrate Christmas here, in Freeport with me. My father turned on the news during our dinner and all I could see was the Hutchersons’ names on the flat screen as the victims of an accident caused by the heavy snow. The next thing I know, I was surrounded by darkness. 

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