Saturday, April 9, 2011

Twisted 8 1/2: A visual personal music player

I treasure friends who impart: (1) seemingly weird but turns out to be useful information, (2) quirky ideas, and (3) uncommon but highly logical insights. Also, I tend to like/love friends who give sensible gifts. I will take a friend who gives me something I didn't think I needed until I was given one over a friend who gets me something really expensive.

For my birthday last year, I received, albeit belatedly, two really sensible gifts. A key ring and a book. Both signify the maturity that characterized that particular year of my existence. I never thought that a key ring would be helpful but when I was given one by a friend, it turned out to be one of my most used belongings.

No matter how crappy or lame other people think giving books-as-gifts is, I adamantly maintain the position that: Giving books as gifts is cool, or hot. 

As a kid, when I was starting to get into reading, I always had this thought that whoever gave me my first book--after I realized reading is an interest, a passion--would be the coolest person for me. It turned out, I was right. It was my mother who gave me my first set of books; and she is, by far, the coolest best person in the world.

Yes, it was given that I received a Three Little Pigs storybook when I was kid, and I read the 1993 Guinness Book of World Records, and the Science Library that came with it, quite extensively, it was not until I was in grade school when I engaged in reading as an interest. When my mom realized that her second daughter is a nerd/book-whore, she gave me three John Grisham books: The Firm, The Pelican Brief and A Time To Kill. Of course, her choice of books was influenced by my growing interest in becoming a lawyer. (I believe it was in Grade Five when I realized that the logic-ness of being a lawyer outweighs the coolness of being an astronaut or a journalist or a painter.)

After the Grisham books, I mostly bought or borrowed all the books I read. My mom's boss is one of those very few (if not the only person) who gives me books as gifts. So when my friend gave me Twisted 8 1/2 by Jessica Zafra as a birthday gift, her coolness, in my mental Coolness Rank, definitely went higher. 
My copy of Twisted 8 1/2,
one of the coolest gifts ever
The book, as I told my friend when I thanked her after reading it (three months after she gave it to me), is a very light read. You can read it almost anywhere, any time. It being black and slim sends the message to people who'd see you reading it that, "Stay away; I'm reading serious stuff." Most books do that anyway.

Despite the slimness or the brevity of the book, it was able to make my mind churn; make me think. It made me, despite the noise of Metro Manila, hear myself think. It was like a visual personal music player. Paraphrasing Zafra: "It created a force field around me, it shut out the world that is trying to swallow me whole, and defined, however tenuously, a space that is mine." A space I call my mind.

The book was relateable and lovable because Zafra wrote about the things I'm equally passionate about: Reading, Books, Music, Photography and Writing. I was able to relate to Technology, which was the main topic of her essays/articles and of which I'm not so much a fan of, because she correlated it to the aforementioned topics.

Bottomline, the book is worth having, especially for people who are turned on by prose, reality, and an occasional amount of trivia.

To end, I will quote two sentences from the book: Books are repository of human experience. They tell us what being human is all about.


No comments: