Reviving The Joys of Reading

One of my plans got cancelled today so I had Chinese food instead with my brother’s family. And since Barnes and Noble was in the area, I decided to drive there afterwards. I realized that it’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a bookstore.

In this day and age, I wonder if books still sell. Looking at all the bargain-priced cook books, I’m like, don’t people just search online or on YouTube for recipes? Or some app? I wonder if their revenue actually comes from selling books, or from the moleskin products or children’s toys they sell here.

But then I went to the Young Adult, Manga, Graphic Novel and Sci-Fi/Fantasy block and I was surprised to see how crowded it was, both by teens and adults alike. There were a few teens passionately talking about a manga while two kids were silently reading.

This brought a smile. The stingy Asian in me wanted to leave without buying anything, but something stirred in me, causing me to pull out one of my favorite manga and browse through it. It’s been a while since I caught up on Kazue Kato’s Blue Exorcist, and one page (where the hero attempts to defeat a colossal demon) convinced me to buy the volume.Blue Exorcist vs the Impure King

Yeah, it’s been a while since I blogged (blame Instagram). I haven’t even gone to the LA Public Library in months (right across from work)! I guess I’ve forgotten the joys of reading.

So when I got home, I read the manga and just fell in love with the characters and the story. There is something cathartic in reading stories, opening the heart to characters and their struggles (Just read the first few pages of the classic Chicken Soup for the Soul – you’ll understand!). On the outside, Blue Exorcist seems like a cliché good versus evil story, but underneath it all, it was a family story.

In this case, I sympathized with Yukio who both loved and hated his brother; the feeling of being left out; the challenges of loving others; and selfless role models we both admire and feel annoyed by. This sorta woke me up – I’ve been too distracted by a lot of things. Being immersed in story is different from vigorous gameplay (my last few months were spent killing redcoats and patriots in Assassins Creed 3).

So yeah, I should put reading and writing into my priority list for this year. .

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