Friday, June 14, 2013

Read Good

"The secrets of the government are keeping you dumb," The End Has No End by The Strokes.

So I was thinking about writing a story tonight, but since it's going to be a longer than usual one and my eyelids are giving up on me, I'll write about reading. Yes, you are about to read about reading. Compelling stuff, I know.

So I have been trying to read consistently throughout the year and I am proud to say that I have read quite extensively, given my lack of reading in the past years. The latest book that I've read is Tuhan, Aku Kembali by Sham Kamikaze and Ainuddin Kamaruddin. It was given to me as a gift, and I finished it in a day. It was a very readable book, not very thick, contains the life story of Mr Sham Kamikaze thus far and how he ditched his earrings for a spot in the da'wah scene.

Right before reading that one, I read the novel Paper Towns by John Green. I won't spoil too much of the story for you, but I will tell you that the hero of the story, Q really gets absorbed into reading a long poem by a poet named Whitman. His understanding of the poem is key in developing his character and the way I see it, shows us how literature, when read carefully and thoughtfully, can not only help us in appreciating the piece of work, but also everything around us. 

When we really think about what a piece of writing means, it can have a profound effect on us, and I believe that these effects are what one looks for in any piece of literature. A piece of writing can only be appreciated when we have a connection with its message or its beauty or its essence. And that piece of literature may live on inside the reader, breathing it life even after its demise from the bookshelves, because those effects in the heart of man will affect the way a person views the the things around him or her and alter, however significantly, their decisions in the future, having a real effect on the world.

And that, to me, is the power of literature. It doesn't have to be brilliant and written with bombastic words and too intricate wordplay. It just has to have that necessary message that it wants to carry and convey it effectively to have an effect in the real world. 

I am who I am today mostly because of what I have read, either from books, subtitles, song lyrics, articles on the internet, tweets, etc. Imam Hassan al-Banna was quoted for saying something along the lines of "To know a person, look at what he reads". I have definitely misquoted him, but you get the idea, right?

What you read defines you. But what happens when you don't read? Well that's a discussion I'll have to pick up some other time (if ever). Until then,

May peace be upon you.


p/s - I'm on a mobile app called GoodReads. If you have a tablet or a smartphone, try installing it. It's like a Facebook for book-readers where you update what you're reading at the moment, what you have already read and what you intend to read in the future. You can check out your friends' updates and get ideas on what to read next. You can rate and review books too. Super fun stuff. Em, I should probably clarify that this is not a paid post. None of my posts are, for that matter. So yeah.


syairah said...

books are our real boredom breaker i tell u. :) happy reading! thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing.
So, you don't want to publish at least one book?

zawaJasmi said...

"To know a person, look at what he reads"

alamak, kak zawa baca Helen Oyeyemi stuffs lah..the characters in her books mostly ada psychological issues, pica lah, imaginary friend lah.. tp kak zawa obsessed with her writing! ok over pulak, anyway, I love this post! and goodreads too!
selamat lebih byk membaca :)

Anonymous said...

They say, people only listen to what they want to hear. I guess that applies to reading as well. I've never read any of john green's but I've planned to read the fault in our stars. Will check out paper towns too since you've mentioned it. And I recommend paolo coelho's books if you haven't read any of his

Gen said...

looking at the title of this post made me think of goodreads. and in the end, there you said it. haha just as expected. I've been using that app since march this year. and yes they have awesome book recommendations for people to read.

Yes, you are what you read, and of course, you are what you eat.

Ryuzaki Ruziah said...

You are what you read..yeah..sure does..Malay writer that inspired me is Hlovate..really good message..found lot of new things to learn..

Sarah said...

great! a fellow nerdfighter.
An Abundance of Katherines is my favourite. I didn't really enjoy Paper Towns contrary to other people's opinion about it. Margo was such a selfish bitch.hah

hit me up

Anonymous Existence. said...

There are so many interesting books out there and it kills me knowing that I haven't read most of them yet!

Btw, cheers to you and this post and to other Bookaholics out there!

Fudzla Busyra said...

paper town is awesome, glad you've read it :)

Milla Tina said...

write a book.

Unknown said...

Okay,from now i will read a lot

anak pak man said...

No worries! :)

Definitely one of my long-term plans. :)

Kak Zawa,
Semoga kita beristiqamah! :)

Up until now, I've read two of Coelho's books. Very good ones, I have to say. :)

If only I could eat Jeffrey Archer books. Sigh

Mine too! He's the only Malay author whose books I read, actually. :)

I'll be on the lookout for that one! Thanks! :)

I'm no bookaholic. Trying to be one, but it's proving to be a challenge. :/

Looking forward to reading Green's other books. :)

Down the road, definitely.

Yeah! That's the spirit! :D