February 2, 2011

Brutally Boring Bookworm Blues

(Originally published in my very first blog last March 22, 2007, 4:11 Philippine time)

Object, tentatively a Joseph Cornell-esque artistic construct
It's easy to mistake me for a bookworm. Indeed, a lot of people already automatically associate said nickname with my name, along with "weirdo", "rocker", "nerd" and "psycho".

Honestly though, I don't really consider myself a bookworm. An immature, eternally curious nerd, maybe, but not a real bookworm. And I feel this way for three reasons:
  1. I suck at patience, and am notoriously short-tempered. This doesn't mean I literally mash books into a pulp when they get on my nerves, though. My mind simply have a tendency to wander off into Erewhon a lot while I'm reading, particularly when a book is REALLY interesting. I used to compensate for this with my childhood ability of speed-reading. Unfortunately it seems this "talent" of mine has now gone into decline since I became a music geek.
  2. My knowledge of books (I hate to admit it) is not as pure and esoteric as that of bonafide bookworms. While I only APPEAR eclectic, a lot of what I know is actually meager trivia, second-hand stuff delivered by the same channels of information that pretty much service every other fat, ignorant couch potato on the face of the planet. I've never appreciated or even HEARD of Douglas Adams' "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" until I saw and loved its movie version, which I'm pretty sure a lot of diehard fans must've hated.
  3. I'm a practicing pseudo-intellectual. Nah, just kidding. Partly.
True, these things aren't supposed to define what makes one a bookworm. For the sake of argument, if you really love reading for what it makes you learn and discover, and other people have actually seen you carrying absurd quantities of books to corrobate this, then by all means you are one.

I only regret not already being an avid bibliophile earlier in life: These days a lot of the books I learned to love, I learned from either second-hand knowledge or sub-par movie novelizations (which in a way screws with how you remember & appreciate a particular work from the very beginning).

Now, I'm embarking on a quest (eww... cheesiness alert) to discover REALLY awesome books, and read and remember and cherish them just as vividly and faithfully as any other ten-year-old nerd would. I want to discover Literature anew, and appreciate its power, how it changes the world.

I want to actually KNOW firsthand how Nabokov writes, how Dostoevsky thinks, how Orwell became a hero of the counterculture, how REAL music journalism works, how Civilization itself first grew and came to be thanks to a few tablets of chiselled text.

But first, I gotta read REAL science fiction. I gotta figure out what a REAL Douglas Adams book reads like, and one day (hopefully) spare myself the humiliation of ever first hearing about a possibly great book from its possibly awful movie.

RECOMMENDED LISTENING: Everclear's "Science Fiction"

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