The first three months of 2018 has come and gone. Now it is time to look back to the first quarter of the year that was, in terms of books and reading.

2018 Reading Resolutions and Reading Achievements

At the start of the year, I made a reading resolution. One of the things that I resolved to change for the year is addressing my outlandish tendency to purchase more books that I can read. I promised to read more and buy less. On the reading side, I can honestly say that I am doing well. Compared to the first three months of 2017, I have already read more books.

The issue is with the “buy less” part. As of March 31, I have already read 18 books. However, I have bought more than twice that number. Yeah, so much for “read more, buy less.” I knew that it was a tall task because I can’t resist the urge to buy books whenever I can. There is that lingering feeling that once I encounter a book I have never encountered before, it is better to buy it there and then. It might take a long time to encounter the same book in the future, hence, I almost always end up purchasing these books.

But hey, I still have nine months more to do some redressing.

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Poetry and prose in one. This Booker Prize-winning is a marvel.
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The Booker of Bookers, Midnight’s Children is one for the records. It is a complex but a remarkable read.

On the positive side, I have reduced my backlog in book reviews. I was able to complete 19 book reviews, most of which are for books I have read in 2017 although some pertain to books I have read in 2018. I have still a lot on my list but I have been dedicating a healthy portion of my time completing as many as I could.

Another thing that I am doing well on is reading more books that are part of the 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Of the books that I have read this year, eight are part of the aforementioned list. One of the Must Read Books that I devoured is Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. Thankfully, Rushdie’s magnus opus didn’t disappoint – it is one of my best reads.

Midnight’s Children is even more symbolic because it is my 600th read. Yes, I have hit 600 books in 2018. A couple of years ago, when I began this reading Odyssey, I never thought that I would ever hit a hundred. With a bit of persistence, I was able to do more than that – one became ten, ten became a hundred, and now a hundred became six hundred. In a couple of years, I would be hitting my 1000th book and I’m going to make that an even bigger occasion.

Aside from Midnight’s Children, some of my best reads for the quarter are Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler (my first Calvino), Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. I still have a lot of great reads on my list so do watch out for them.

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Big Bad Wolf finally came to the Philippines. Now I look forward to participating in more book fairs. Oh pockets, get ready for the inevitable.

Big Bad Wolf PH Sale

One of the highest points of the quarter is my participation in the recently held Big Bad Wolf PH book sale in February. This is the first time that I joined a book fair of such magnitude. When I learned about it in the social media, I looked forward to it for weeks. When it did finally open, I was one of the first ones who went on its opening day. Although it was tedious digging through the piles of books, it was nonetheless a wonderful experience getting drowned in the sea of books.

From the book fair, I was able to cop hefty number of books, some of which are titles that I have been looking for in the regular bookstores and online sellers to no avail. Had I more money, I would not have hesitated buying more. Thankfully I was able to hold on to the reins of my sanity and not let myself splurge. 20 books is no easy feat.

For my Big Bad Wolf PH Experience, click here. For my Big Bad Wolf PH book haul, click on the below links:

My Big Bad Wolf PH Sale Book Haul (Part I)
My Big Bad Wolf PH Sale Book Haul (Part II)

Aside from the Big Bad Wolf Sale, a good source of my 2018 book haul are the online sellers, some of whom I was able to establish some sort of rapport. It makes me smile realizing the extent of the reading sphere. Although a bevy of current readers prefer the superfluous realities of the young adult genre, there is still  a healthy number of readers who prefer delving in the more classical genres.

Some of my book purchases from these online sellers are Ian McEwan’s Solar and Enduring Love, Willa Cather’s Death Comes For The Archbishop and My Antonia, T.C. Boyle’s Drop City. I was also able to purchase some Booker Prize Winning-works like John Banville’s The Sea , Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin , and Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea.

Other titles that I was able to purchase during the quarter include Margaret Mitchell’s very elusive Pulitzer Prize Winning work, Gone With the Wind, Nobel Peace Prize Winning Author Jose Saramago’s The Double, and contemporary works The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman.

To check my first quarter book haul, click below:

2018 First Quarter Book Haul Part I
2018 First Quarter Book Haul Part II

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355 Books. Whew. That’s a lot.

With this unprecedented number of books that I have purchased for the quarter, I am sure to have a lot of reading to look forward to in the coming years. On my recent book inventory, I have counted a total of 355 books as part of my Manila collection. Over 150 of these books are unread. This only consolidates my earlier conclusion. At least I won’t run of books to read for at least two years. That is a good challenge.

Looking Forward

My start for 2018 couldn’t be any better. I am regaining the momentum I have lost in my deliberate reading slowdown in 2017. In a manner of speaking, I am making up for lost time. More importantly, I am becoming a more critical reader, taking into account all the elements of each book I read. Doing book reviews did help me develop such uncanny sense. It is not yet fully-developed but I know I am on the right track.

There is still so much more to look forward to for the rest of the year. Three months down but nine months more to go. For sure, I will have more book purchases as I cannot seem to control the urge to buy. However, I am making up for this with the quality of books that I am devouring. I have a lot more of reviews to complete. It will be a challenge but it is something that I look forward to.

So fellow reader, join me in my 2018 reading Odyssey. Let us enjoy the ride together.

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