Category: This and That

To Hobo or Not to Hobo? That is the Question.

Scribe opened preorders for Hobonichi this week. I wanted to buy the Hobo cousin again (just the  book) but I have conflicting feelings about it. Maybe it’s this darned pandemic season that is making me hesitate. Things can seem the same for many weeks and then they can drastically change. I’m having a hard time committing to a 2021 planner, and it’s the strangest feeling. I think I’ll just buy one towards the end of the year, may be from the Hobonichi site itself or from a local reseller.

Rediscovering Books

I was a voracious reader when I was young. There’s a whole backstory to that, why I tended to escape between the pages when I was a kid, but it’s really one of the things that I enjoyed about my childhood. I wasn’t a wide reader, though. I had my favorite genres and I rarely read books outside that comfortable corner. When I was a teen, part of my rebellious phase was pointedly refusing to read anything my mom recommended. When I started working, I found that without the benefit of the regular allowance my parents gave me, I actually couldn’t afford to buy books. As a young professional, it became all about the hustle. I worked in the call center industry and I was frequently tired and emotionally spent. Imagine an introvert spending hours constantly talking on the phone. I was overworked and underpaid and I could not afford to shell out the extra money to buy books. They’ve become luxuries. I also felt like I had no time to read. So it faded to the background, along with all the other hobbies that I used to consider indispensable to my well-being–writing, keeping a journal, making art.

When I made a drastic career change in 2009, it came with a lot of challenges but one pleasant surprise was that I started to rediscover the things that used to make me happy. I started to read again. Slowly at first, like someone relearning how to ride a bike, then speeding up to a feverish pace, until this year, when I think I’ve settled into a more comfortable and relaxed pace. I also discovered new genres and developed a taste for them. I’m happy that I can afford to buy books again, and that I also have the luxury of long  blocks of time to sit quietly and read.

This year I read a lot of memoirs, some of my favorites include “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive” by Stephanie Land and Heather Armstrong’s “The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live”. I read books on race issues, politics, religion, history. Some of my favorites are Philip Yancey’s “Fearfully and Wonderfully: The Marvel of Bearing God’s Image”, “Uncivil War: Race, Civil Rights & the Nation”, “The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future” by Joseph Stiglitz, “Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America” by Michael Emerson, among others. I suppose your tastes in book can still change later in life. I read fewer books this year compared to last year, but I enjoyed most of the books that I picked.

I’m looking forward to the book that I’ll read this 2020. I wonder what new titles I will discover.