At the beginning, i was about to entitle this post as Reading Culture : A Canadian Perspective before i quickly realized that it is a blog that i am writing and not a Masters thesis. Good thing i caught that fast.
Anyway, it has been six month i’ve been nesting in Canada( and i used the word nesting for a reason),and my keen eye observed that apart from the exquisite charm of holding the door , respecting the pedestrians, and clean lavatories,another profound quality of the natives here is the amazing ability to read while standing. And i specifically point out the standing part because ,it speaks volumes that reading here is deemed as an activity to pass the time, not a geeky show to prove how cultured one is.
And i couldnt expressed how this delights me exponentially. I love to read, but a book in the handbag for trivial time killing prop would drew comments from girlfriends particularly of the “rajinnye hanani..” which i have to say ,an instant mood killer despite the consideration that the commenters’ intention might had been a genuine one. Now, if you were subjected to mockery everytime you whip out a novel to read, even the most avid reader will restrain the activity within the confinements of home or other private solace. Back home, the activity to pass the time is sms-ing. In the LRT ( subway ), to distract yourself from the stuffiness and the drooling Yasmin’s “next station, Taman Melawati” you sms. Back home, if you happen to read in the metro, looks will never fail to attack you. People dont understand that you read, because simply you want to read. Not for academic reasons or any other rajin-related reasons. You are the nerdy showpony opting to stuff a bulky novel in your pocket rather than that sexy slim phone.
Now, its a bit unfair to judge a country just because they dont read enough. And i have to say the conditions here supports the reading culture. Books are cheap, and they’re quite ubiquitous. Sms-ing here is very unpopular due to the fact it costs the same as calling unlike back home where sms costs 1 cent. Why waste the energy typing? One who perfected the art of speedy smsing could easily lose their skills due to lack of practice.Besides, the phones here suck to high heaven so i wouldn’t mind not spending my time punching on hideous keypads.
Nevertheless its worthy to underline the fact that the view of people towards reading is way different from us. If you happen to read while patiently waiting , its a normalcy. One hand a book, the other holding on for stability. Wizard.
Ok, i need time to finish Next by Michael Crichton
P/s : The writer has no time for books nowadays and unhappy about it.