I recalled a sentence from the book Shadow of the Wind :
Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.
When I was younger, I was warned by my mother that you have to choose what you read very carefully. My book was confiscated by my class teacher one day because I was found reading a romance book under the school desk (not during lessons though). They seem to think (with good intention) some books may contaminate my mind.
Many moons later, my reading choice had widen. I know I consciously look out for tales from around the globe, travel tales, and tales especially from Asia or Middle East; and I do feel drawn to stories of normal day-to-day people got caught in the war, human conflict, tragedy, tribulations etc and also about personal struggle in establishing own identity in the process of coming-of-age or in a foreign land; but other times I’m just experimenting.
What does my reading choice say about me? Maybe I have unresolved pain and grief that requires validation and constant dose of encouragement to rise above it. Maybe I’m just curious about social issues, culture and stories of other people around the world.
If I literally became what I read, I would be:
- A man
- Occasionally a woman
- A person in need of help and support
- An arm-chair traveler with unquenchable wanderlust
- Someone who enjoys black humour relating to capitalism, politics and economics, when really my secret wish was to be a major part of it.
- An alien who is stranded in a foreign land, displaced, torn between east and west
- A sinophile, an anglophile and moving on to become a japophile.
- Someone who empathise with human pains, a short-lived gratefulness to know there are a lot more people who are less fortunate than myself.
- Muddle about my principles and values, often find them misplaced.
- Falling hopelessly in love with blood sucking vampires, lament fate that I didn’t marry one.
- Feeding on human tragedies and wars
- Seek out life in desert, the way of Bedouin.
- Prefers to live between 1930’s and 1950’s
- A masochist, misogynist, a pervert.
- (Not until very recently) confused about my sexuality
- Vacillating between the good and evil parts that are part of my character
- An incorrigible romantic who possess a fervent desire to escape reality and elope with fantasy.
- Victorian, inspired to be Russian.
What about you? Do you think you are what you read? Do you find out about yourself more than you never knew before in the choice of book you have picked?