I used to read a lot before but for some reason or other, I stopped. One reason, of course, would be the fact that books are extremely expensive these days and are no longer that affordable. The fact that one can deduct the amount spent on books in one’s annual income tax return is little consolation. Eventually, all that I would read would be the monthly issue of the Reader’s Digest and gradually, that too would be left unopened every time it is delivered – I am still subscribing as my girl wants to read it so these days, she would be the one enjoying it every month.
Actually, she buys a lot of books and very frequently too but it is perfectly all right as she enjoys reading a lot and will re-read those that she likes very much. Besides, she does not spend on much else so I do encourage her to do so and would take her to the bookstores to browse around and pick the ones she likes, not that we have a lot to choose from here, I’m afraid. Most bookstores here would be packed to the brim with workbooks, a sad reflection of the modern day kiasu society where everyone is fighting tooth and claw to attain excellent grades in one’s studies and neglecting everything else.
Anyway, I was doing some spring cleaning and rearranging the books and everything else on the shelves that day when I saw this…
I have read one only and that was because I happened to see the movie on television and loved it so much. Yes, the book is really great too…and I would say that to date, that is one of my favourites. In the end, I decided to give this one a go.
There are some parts in the book that I particularly like. Look at this extract, for instance:
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping.
You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie.Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays.
Man alone measures time.
Man alone chimes the hour.
And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creatures endures.
A fear of time running out.
(Sphere:2013 Page 8)
Now, don’t you think that’s absolutely thought-provoking…and isn’t that so very true?
The story highlights the contrast between two of the main characters – a teenage girl who was wishing that time would go by more quickly and an old man who was hoping it would go more slowly so he would have more time to spend in this world. I would say that it made me think about myself – then and now and some of the lines that caught my attention and got me thinking include this one:
Sometimes, when you are not getting the love you want, giving makes you think you will.
(Sphere: 2013 Page 117)
…and this one as well:
We all yearn for what we have lost. But sometimes, we forget what we have.
(Sphere: 2013 Page 138)
The book brings to mind this old-time favourite of mine by Glen Campbell:
Some people run, some people crawl
Some people don’t even move at all
Some roads lead forward, some roads lead back
Some roads are bathed in white and some wrapped in black
Some people never get and some never give
some people never die and some never live
Some folks treat me mean, some treat me kind
Most folks just go their way and don’t pay me any mind
Time, oh good good time, where did you go? Time, oh good good time, where did you go?
…and I would say that I quite enjoyed reading it though I very much prefer the other one by the author that I have read …in more ways than one. Personally, that one is still my favourite.