Tag Archive | books

Books: Why I prefer paperback

Our generation has become rapidly digitalized. Nowadays many people read e-books, the digitization of the written word which began as early as 1971 through Project Gutenberg which was meant to archive cultural works. However, its popularity was not evident until 1993 when Peter James made his novel, Host, available on digital copy. So it took a novel for people to start embracing the concept of reading an e-book, huh.

Several of my friends have encouraged me to buy kindle. My answer was always a quick NO. Reading a book for me is “sacred” from smelling it to leafing through the pages and seeing progress in each chapter. It’s also my way of disconnecting from the internet. Reading e-books feels like I am still not fully disconnected from the digital world.

Through 6 years of living in Bangkok, I’ve hoarded a massive collection. I’m not into shopping so my place doesn’t have much stuff except books. I’ve grown attached to each one of them that against my friend’s suggestion to sell them, I decided to ship them all home.

Books Bangkok

Reading e-books has its advantages but since I haven’t read one, I am not the right person to comment. I do know that you can carry hundreds and thousands of books in just about 7-13 ounce, 4×7 inch e-readers.

While reading e-books has its advantages, studies show that reading paperbacks is better. The Guardian reports that based on a new Europe-wide research, readers absorb less on Kindles than on paper. The research found that, “the haptic and tactile feedback of a Kindle does not provide the same support for mental reconstruction of a story as a print pocket book does”.

TIME also highlighted the benefits of reading a “real” book stating it increases intelligence, boosts brain power, improves empathy, helps fight Alzheimer’s disease, helps you sleep among others.

I spent hundreds of dollars shipping all my books home but it’s all worth it. Those books will not only remind me of the wonderful time we shared in Bangkok, they are also treasures I can share with my future family (if I ever get married).


Sunday fun overload

You know those times when you are having so much fun and you just can’t help but relish the sweetness of life? Today is one of those with my partner in crime Ate Sheila. Although I woke up a bit late, I’m still able to wash some of my laundry before heading off to our first stop, Big Bite Bangkok. Big Bite is a series of outdoor markets featuring the best of the city’s small-scale artisanal food producers. You can sample big bites of the food for free but you can also purchase more if you want to take some home. Donations are encouraged. All proceeds will go to In Search of Sanuk, a non-profit benefitting the needy in Bangkok. About $1,000 was raised today!

After making our belly happy, we went to Dasa bookstore. They sell secondhand English books at very low prices. There are only few English bookstores in Thailand and most of them are very expensive. What I hate about going to Dasa though is that I can’t leave the place empty-handed. They have almost all the books I can die for. As a result, I keep hoarding more books even before I finish reading the others. But despite my indulgence I always go home super happy.

We then walked to Queen Sirikit park just beside Emporium. One of the things I love about Bangkok is that in the midst of the metropolitan’s skycrapers there are plenty of parks to relax and just be still.

We hiked the next train station and just enjoyed the walk while taking some snaps of the typical Bangkok street. And just before we hop in the train, a splendid dusk stunned us in awe. Rainbow colors crept from the clouds, such beauty I have never seen before.

A delicious Thai food dinner was savored with Neil. Before heading out the mall we dropped by at the DVD shop to search for good movies. And finally our last trip for the day, lightning photography 😀 Ate Sheila was patient enough to wait for the next lightning to strike. When it finally came I gushed with excitement causing her to capture a shaky photo. Oopps my bad.

Now gotta read my newly hoarded book, Stumbling on happiness by Daniel Gilbert, before going to sleep. La dolce vita! What a wonderful world indeed 🙂

Are you proactive or reactive?

Stephen Covey’s book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” has been on my shelf for the past 6 months. Though I’ve started reading a few pages, still I couldn’t get myself to finish it. Just this morning, I was thinking of what worthwhile thing to do without getting off from bed and spotted his book lying on the shelf beside me. So, I pick it up and started reading from the last page I’ve read.

The page title says “Proactivity” Defined. I was reminded of what my officemate told me few days ago; our boss commented that he is not proactive. But what does ‘proactive’ means anyway? And what do we call a person who is not proactive?

As I read through, I got to figure out the best word to define how I have been behaving for more than a year now and the very reason why I couldn’t finish reading this book and all the other books in my shelf, “reactive”.

Below is an excerpt of the book to give you a glimpse of how Covey differentiates a proactive and reactive person.

Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected and internalized values.

Reactive people are affected by their social environment, by the “social weather”. When people treat them well, they feel well; when people don’t they become defensive and protective. Reactive people build their emotional lives around the behaviour of others, empowering the weaknesses of other people to control them.

Proactive people can carry their own weather with them. They are value driven; and if their value is to produce good quality work, it isn’t a function of whether the weather is conducive to it or not.

Reactive Language Proactive Language
There’s nothing I can do Let’s look at our alternatives
That’s just the way I am I can choose a different approach
He makes me so sad I control my own feelings
They won’t allow that I can create an effective presentation
I have to do that I will choose an appropriate response
I can’t I choose
I must I prefer
If only I will

There you have it! So what do you choose to act now, be proactive or reactive?

Source: Covey, S.R. The 7 Habit of Highly Effective People. 1989. Simon & Schuster, New York.