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The third book I wrote for you

Hey, this book is for you. Surprised?

This is the third book I’ve written for you for your birthday for the third year we’ve known each other.

When I told myself I wanted to write books and start a popular series like Harry Potter, I never expect to one day create so many books just for you. The first two books were one of their kind, because no one else has them and they were written specifically for you in mind and meant only for your eyes. The books are a condensed collection of our best and happiest moments together each year. I wonder if you take them out and flip through once in a while.

This third book is the same — filled with memories of this year… Of the things that mean a lot to us…

Remember how you’d sleep over at my place and how you’d tell me you can’t sleep and you want a bedtime story? And how I’d be drowsy and half-asleep, but I would still wake up and tell you a story from my imagination?

I always envision these books would be placed by your bed, so whenever you can’t sleep, they would be your bedtime stories when I’m not sleeping beside you that night. And my dream is that I would give you a book every year as part of our tradition, so that one day you can fill a bookshelf with them.

I never took pictures of the books I made for you, but I’ve always taken immense pride in them, because I spend a lot of effort and time on making them beautiful and tailoring them to a theme for that year. Not sure if you noticed it actually… Well, at least I think they are exquisitely designed, since no one else has ever seen them and you’ve never said they look great! Hahaha!

The books are my way of saying how much I love you and how important you are to me. But it has been difficult passing the third book to you since you’ve always preferred to either reject me or cancel on me at the last minute (even though we had arranged to meet beforehand) or have plans already or be working. I don’t know why. Maybe this book is meant to stay in its bag forever. Maybe it’s ok for you that we haven’t seen each other for almost two months now. Maybe I just care too much.

Goodnight, my love. I hope you’re happy wherever you are.

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The hunger games

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Sometimes when I read a really good book, I start visualising that I am one of the characters in it or how wonderful (more likely heart stopping) my life would be living in the author’s brilliantly fleshed out exciting world. Or I’d start rooting for the tormented protagonist and silently hope the next page to be filled with positives so there will be a happy ending.

It’s amazing how the right words can grip you just as tightly and enthral all your senses as a well-directed, scripted movie can. Besides, sometimes a book is even better than a film because your imagination is more powerful than almost anything manmade in the world.

The Hunger Games trilogy is one such series of brilliant writing. It has a storyline that is filled with so many twists and turns that you end up putting all your eggs in one basket and hope beyond hope that the particular character you support would escape the evil clutches safely. You feel the joy, the pain, the anguish, the sorrow and every dilemma deeply. Don’t tell anyone but there were tears in my eyes at some point. I even gasped sharply at some of the action-packed fights.

It was as though I was there right inside the book, living out each experience the author described. Not surprising actually because the book was written in a first-person narrative and in present tense. Which is different from The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo trilogy and Terry Pratchett’s Snuff as both were written in the descriptive past tense.

It blew my mind away when I finally noticed the different writing styles. Weird how these details jump at me when I told myself to be more aware of the types of literary prose. And both are equally effective in seducing the reader. Yes, it was a 100-watt lightbulb moment for me.

Anyway, I found myself rereading certain paragraphs in The Hunger Games over and over again, trying to absorb all the details so I could fill each scene out with rich colours in my head. I was riveted. And I didn’t want the book to end.

Now I can’t wait for the movie.