My first memory of learning to read was the “Peter and Jane” series, which we did during library period. We were each asked to read a book based on the level of our reading skills – 1A, 2A, and so on until 12C. I remember getting to the last book in the series, after which I simply looked up at my teacher and asked, so what do I read next?
My next reading memory was when I discovered the National Library of Malaysia. We could borrow three books at a time, for three weeks. I was only allowed into the children’s section, because I was still under 12, and there weren’t that many books suitable for someone aged 9. I settled with Nancy Drew. I stopped visiting the library when I ran out of Nancy Drew books to borrow.
My high school years were spent reading and rereading the few books I had at home. I read them so many times, I could sing the Oompa-Loompa songs and remember exactly what each character said during any given part of the story. Because I knew all five books by heart, and each so different from the other, I also learned to tell that some books are just not compatible with some moods. I learned that how I’m feeling dictates the kind of book I should be reading.
My reading life took a hiatus for a long while after that. Moving to a new country and attempting to complete a degree course in architecture can throw a lot of spanners into the works. Towards the tail-end of my tertiary education, I rediscovered the magic of libraries, and with it, the beauty of blogging.
My move back to Malaysia meant I no longer had access to those wonderful wonderful books. But it also meant that I could start buying books to fill my own shelves. Work got in the way of the actual consumption of said bought books, and for years I let that be a valid excuse to why I was no longer reading as much as I would like. Not anymore. Not since I realised that I read, not because I have nothing else to do, but because I want and need to.
My name is Michelle Yoon.