I spent a full hour or so browsing around Fully Booked this afternoon. I would’ve bought myself a wall calendar except that the ones they sell there are goddam expensive (-+2k?!?). I mean, they’re really nice and all but I’d be happy with those free ones Chinese – owned hardware stores give out, with big red numbers.
Anyway, I wanna buy these two books:
AMERICAN CAESAR: DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, 1880-1964
I can’t believe Arthur C. Clarke is dead. He is one of the most influential writers I’ve ever read, whose books have become part of my life. His book Rendezvous with Rama was probably the first that forced me to think outside of what my eyes see. Space Odyssey 2001 brought me to far away places and situations and made me think of things that a city boy like me would never have thought of otherwise.
Strangely enough, my most memorable is his story ‘The Deep Range’, which talked about farming whales as if they were cattle, eventually ending world hunger. After which at some point, religious influences caused the characters in the book to rethink their need for meat, and coincided with scientific advances that allowed for meat alternatives that were indistinguishable in every way from the real thing. I remember the main character’s acceptance of this difficult fact start to seed in their psyche, eventually leading them to acceptance.
One of the nice things I like about big Press gigs is you occasionally get the chance to talk to other writers, many of whom have been in the business for decades. Yesterday I was seated beside friends from Manila Tribune, a sorta celeb guy from Studio 23 and interestingly enough, editors from 34 year old magazine Mod.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to ask for a calling card, so I forgot her name in the mayhem that is a Press event that included the usual big announcements, a displaying of new prods plus of course feeding us and raffling off prizes. At any rate we fortunately found time to small talk about a topic close to my heart, the dwindling number of readers and quality of written and spoken English in the Philippines, something she knew well about, coincidentally being a CEU Journalism Professor as well.
So here’re I’ll share a few things I’ve learned to believe.
One, is that I don’t think ‘Learn To Read campaigns’ are very effective. I’ve seen the ones Inquirer tried to do plus maybe a few others, and they’ve tried going the celebrity route (celebs explaining what reading has done for them etc.) but for the most part, that turns me off more than interests me. Of course, I’ve never been interested in celebs in the first place, so I’m probably an exception.