ReaderCon Filipino Friday: Week One

On a spur of the moment, I found myself participating in Filipino Friday meme. This would be a weekly thing leading to the Filipino Reader Conference that would also happen at the SMX Convention Center where the 32nd Manila International Book Fair would be held. I’m not that good with introductions so thank goodness for this.

Tell us what kind of reader you are.

I read while in transit, especially when taking the train. If you’re someone who lives in Manila and rides the LRT or the MRT, you have a pretty good idea how difficult it is to just bring a book out of the bag. Sometimes, you can’t. But for those times that I am able to get it out, despite the hostile environment and unfavorable condition, I read.

One thing I am not sure of is how fast I read. I really have no idea if I’m a fast or slow reader. (Or what my actual reading speed is.) Compared to my reader friends, I could be one or the other.

What are your favorite genres and books?

What I have here is quite a mish-mash. Well I started off with mythology and folklore, be it local or foreign. I even read the entries in encyclopedias, despite having a good idea of what’s written or even if I’ve read it before. My copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is quite dog-eared; it looks older than it actually is.

Young adult and teen books abound in my collection. I believe I began with Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Egypt Game and I have graduated to the works of Rick Riordan.

I also have a number of inspirational-religious books and a slew of quote collections. Never could get enough of them. I also have horror books but most seem to fail me. And, oh yes, etymology books are a real pleasure.

Who are your favorite authors?

In no particular order

  • Markus Zusak for his writing style and refreshing wit
  • Bruce Lansky for his humor and juvenile tone
  • Max Lucado for his wonderful insight
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson for indulging in Arthurian pieces
  • Rick Riordan for reintroducing the current generation to the classic myths

Do you have a comfort read?

I believe so. That would be I Hope You Dance by Mark D. Sanders and Tia Sillers. If the title sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s a song originally recorded by Lee Ann Womack. It’s quite a short book but I take a long time reading it every time. I relish the message in every page. They sound like things my parents would tell me themselves.

And what’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

Toughest question yet. That’s because I cannot pick out the best one. But I have narrowed it down to three.

  • Wonderlust by Vicki Kuyper: travelogue with a lot of spiritual and personal insights. And this reawakened my yearning to see the wonderful world we live in.
  • Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous, and Inspiring Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible by David Plotz: the most harrowing piece—and that’s in a good sense! As you benefit from faith, you could also benefit from doubt.
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I loved him the moment I read I Am the Messenger. And he does not disappoint with this one. Plus he employs Death as his narrator. If it’s any possible, he just got cooler.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Euryx says:

    It’s always a mystery to me how you are able to read inside the LRT/MRT. But I loved reading/reviewing my notes inside LRT 2. 😀


    1. matiserrano says:

      I believe that we employ the same tactics, more or less. But I can imagine that you’ve got more ease there at the LRT 2.

      Well, it’s a matter of where you sit or–at most times–stand inside the train, how many people surround you, and where your hands are. It’s practically a balancing act.


  2. Patrick says:

    Glad to see you doing this too.

    I think you’re a fast reader. But I guess when you’re slow like me, everything else would seem fast.

    And yes, thank you for reminding me of The Book Thief.

    p.s. you forgot to link the readercon. 😉
    p.p.s. like your new blog theme. =)


    1. matiserrano says:

      And thanks for posting this on Facebook. This was really fun. Also thanks for the p.p.s, will correct it after the replies. I really forgot about that–too engrossed watching “Sleepy Hollow.” And for liking the new theme.


  3. Chachic says:

    *nods head about the MRT comment*

    I call my efforts to ride the MRT my daily dose of pakikipagsapalaran. I read on the train too when there’s enough space for me to take out the book that I’m currently reading.

    I love Greek mythology too and I thoroughly enjoyed reading Edith Hamilton’s book back in high school. I think I read it even before we were required by my English teacher to do so. I read The Lightning Thief right before I watched the movie but didn’t feel compelled to read the rest of the books in the series, I think they might be too young for my taste? One of my absolute favorite series of all time is the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner which is part fantasy, part historical fiction, set in a world reminiscent of ancient Greece. If you do get the chance to check it out, read the synopsis for just first book because the others are kind of spoilery. 🙂

    And I’ve had my copy of The Book Thief since 2007 but I still haven’t read it. I should unearth it from my mountain of a to-be-read pile and hopefully read it within the year.


    1. matiserrano says:

      Taking the train is a pain but it’s a pain we have to endure. And–wow!–you read while riding the MRT. In my experiences, it’s more difficult reading there than at the LRT.

      I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read Mythology. And I could still get lost in it every single time. About The Lightning Thief, I think I could relate to you on that, just change Riordan’s work to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Never got past the first two books. And that was before the movie.

      Queen’s Thief series? I have read raves about it but–sadly–I have not seen any of the books. That or I’m a real bad book hunter. If I do see any of them, I will check them out.

      Seems like you have the almost the same case as my friend who too has The Book Thief. Good luck with that. And I do hope you do get to read it.


      1. Chachic says:

        Oh I read all of the Lemony Snicket books back when I was in college but I just borrowed them from a friend. Loved the first few books but the rest were just okay. But I think the movie’s great! Too bad they didn’t continue with the rest of the series, I guess it wasn’t that popular.

        Someone else has been raving about Megan Whalen Turner’s books? Who is this? I must get to know this person immediately. All four books in the series are available in Fully Booked. 🙂 They were there the last time I dropped by the Fort branch. You can call them – 8587000 (yes, I have the number memorized) and ask for copies to be transferred to the branch nearest you.

        I really should read The Book Thief soon! I have a thing for thieves in fiction because of Eugenides (the main character in the Queen’s Thief series).

        BTW, thanks for dropping by my blog and commenting on one of my discussion posts!


        1. matiserrano says:

          I’m thinking of collecting the rest of the series. My pamangkins are growing up and they might just like the stuff that I have here. I too love the movie, despite what most reviews say about it.

          Sorry. Can’t seem to recall the blog where I read that. Anyway, thanks. Sometimes I go to the Fort, for a change of scenery and whatnot. I will check them out. It’s now on my to-buy list!

          Sounds like the thief stole your heart. Here’s to hoping that you do. And about commenting, sure! Hunting and buying books are always such an experience.


  4. fantaghiro23 says:

    Hi, Mati. I get what you mean about reading on trains. I don’t take the train to work, but when I used to work far from where I lived, my main reading time was done during travelling. Parang it’s such a waste if all I did were to wait for me to get where I was supposed to go, eh.

    I love Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, too. Like you, I don’t know how many times I’ve read it, both for leisure and for work. In fact, my first copy was my mother’s copy when she was still in high school. I have since lost that copy and I feel bad for it. I think I’m on my 4th Mythology copy.

    Hope to see you during the ReaderCon. It’s just a train ride away.:)


    1. matiserrano says:

      Hi there! Before I began reading on trains, I tried just listening to my music player but it wasn’t as fun. Plus the number of people who play their music really loud tends to cancel out what I’m listening to. When I’m reading, I find that I easily tune out noise since i’m concentrating on a book.

      I discovered Mythology by accident. And that was before it was required reading for school. I thank my mother for buying it for me. Sad about that your mother’s copy of the book. Well, I hope that the person who found it has been reading and benefiting from it.

      Even though it’s a weekday, I’ll see what I can do.


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