Spectations

A study, of words, in crimson, sometimes blue, rarely yellow.

Archive for the tag “books”

“You should dat…

“You should date a girl who reads.
Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”
— Rosemarie Urquico

I’ve always been a the girl with a book in her bag, no matter where I went. That is why this quote speaks so deeply to me.

It is such a fad these days to judge people by what they look like, but the readers, like me, know not to judge a book by its cover. I just hope more people can realize that a “sexy” isn’t in the shape of a woman’s curves but in how sharp her wit is, how seasoned her intellect.

Two Questions

I had to go through mock interviews a couple days back as part of a mandatory exercise for all graduating students. As part of the last minute information-swap that students do, we were all asking each other a bunch of questions that are generic to interviews. Two questions stood out for me & I couldn’t think of a concrete answer.
1. Define yourself.
Now this is a tricky question. I can ramble on and on about myself to people who couldn’t be less concerned but when it actually counts, I’m at a loss of words. And I think this happened to everyone. I thought about it before the interview and the only things I came up with are the general terms that everyone uses; confident, problem-solver, team-player, people person.
But who am I really? I sat down to think about it and all the things that I came up with were nothing that the interviewers wanted to hear, because they are totally unrelated to my degree program or the IT industry in general.
So, who am I?

  •  I’m a reader. I can’t live without books. 95% of the time I can’t even step out of the house without a book tucked into my bag, my one defense against loneliness. The book is the one companion that won’t leave me or won’t stand me up.
  • I’m a writer. I love the feeling of pen/pencil between my fingers. It is the one kind of innovation that I’m moderately good at. I can put my thoughts into words and then put those words out into the world. And that is more than most people can manage.
  • I’m an “imaginer”. I have always had a wild imagination. I might have never gone on an actual hike, but in my mind I’ve travestied across dense African jungles and frozen landscapes.
  • I’m a believer. I believe in things – some true, some merely rumor and some wild ramblings of a half-mad mind. It is incredibly easy to fool me into believing something – especially when that ‘something’ revolves around the people I fancy. And I believe in the impossible, the improbable, because my faith tell me that my God is bigger than any impossibility.
  • I’m a child-of-the-universe. Aren’t we all? I’m a student of the human condition. I try to understand what drives people to action, and what dulls them down to do nothing. I try to understand how each event carries so much weight that we have a whole phenomenon to define this.

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Honestly, how do you answer that question? For me, the answer changes every 6 months. People might call my confused, and I’m pretty sure I fit the general description. But I’m not confused, I’m just dynamic. My mind is filled with so many possibilities; I don’t know which one to wholly pursue. And for a person who says they don’t put much stock in what people say, I get deeply upset when someone tells me I can’t achieve something. Half of me wants to prove them wrong but the other half just wants to forget everything and move onto the next ‘big’ thing.
When I was in high school, I wanted to open my own software house. I had the name picked out and a design that would pass for a logo. Then I wanted to start writing my own column for a newspaper. Then I wanted to start my own e-magazine. Lately, I’m thinking I should open my own café/bakery.
But where I really see myself in 5 years is in some exotic location, carrying out the grandest of adventures – A World Tour. I still haven’t worked out where the money for such an endeavor would come from, but I don’t think I should stifle my imagination with such trivialities right now.

These two questions baffled me ever since a fellow asked me before the interviews began. I couldn’t answer them at the time because I kept thinking I should find an answer that would please the people around me, and I wasn’t really thinking about being truly honest with myself. I came up with these answers right now within seconds. And I had to write them down, because I feel the next time someone asks, I should answer properly. It might be the answer they’re looking for, and it might not satisfy them. But at least I’ll know I was honest with myself.

Corner Full of Words

I’m pretty sure there’s a whole lot of stuff everyone wants to do with their lives. I’m no different, although I’m pretty sure I’m VERY different.

*Yes, I tend to strut around, head held high, pointing condescending fingers at everyone else, sue me!*

But here’s what I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve wanted a corner of the world all to myself, a little corner, with shelves & shelves full of books, of different genres, from different authors, the classics & the contemporaries & all the beauty that words can hold. & I want to put in the middle of that corner a high backed, deep seated, mahogany colored leather armchair. & I wanted to sit there, with a steaming cup of coffee resting gingerly on one arm of the chair & a book in the other hand, & I want to lose myself in the brilliance of another’s imagination.

& here comes the catch. I know I most probably am not the only one with this desire of social-regression. I’m pretty sure there are others who are like me, who will appreciate this corner as much as I would & who would want a place to spend those chilly winter evenings. As Lennon said, “I may be a dreamer but I’m not the only one.”

*Yes, I consider myself to be of the same intellectual standards as Lennon, sue me!!*

But what if this corner could be real? What if there was a place where we could spend those dull winter evenings? What if there was a place where the warmth of imagination was all it took to uplift a bunch of dampened spirits? What if there was a place where people of all ages could sit for a while & leave inspired? What if there was a place that smelled of old parchment & freshly bound classics? What if there was a place where you could be surrounded by the beauty of poetry, fiction, horror & romance? What if there was a place which sold words?

*Height of wishful thinking, I know, sue me!*

So all of you who are dreamers like me, the intellectuals in a society full of fools, mail me a generous check & let’s see what can be done about this corner.

*So I actually wasted at least 10 minutes of your time trying to sell you an idea. I’m brilliant, sue me!*

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