Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Faith I Live By Book Review

  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Copyright © 2010, Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.; 1 edition (5 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684852713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684852713
  • Genre: Devotional
This devotional book is devoted exclusively to the subject of Bible doctrines. Providing both inspiration and information, each month focuses on a different topic. The daily readings are selections from Ellen White's previously published and unpublished writings that relate to the basic truths of Scripture. The book is extensively indexed with Scripture, topical, and outline indexes.

This book has been one of my inspiration and guide. Not only does it helped me understand biblical truths, but it also helped me understand more of God's love for us. What is important is our relationship with Him, in which I found the secret in this book.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

It’s that time of week again for Should Be Reading’s fun meme Teaser Tuesdays.
So how does this work:
  • Grab your current book
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
One case may then prevail, but the case that prevails is not necessarily more correct when it is being argued; it becomes correct simply because it prevails.
p. 26, Death of the Lucky Country by Donald Horne

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    2011 Reading Challenges

    These are the very first book challenges that I’ll be participating  for 2011.

    There are quite a number of book challenges for 2011. Since this would be my first time, I have chosen to participate in 3 of them that are quite simple and attainable. Still, I’m not contended, so I made a book challenge of my own. Here it is…

    For more detail on joining this challenge…visit the sign up page here.


    2011 Christian NonFiction Challenge

    Hosted by Journey to the End of the TBR Pile. This challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2011. The challenge is to read at least 10 Christian non-fiction books. Books can be used for multiple challenges.

    It's Monday What Are You Reading

    Thanks to One Persons Journey Through a World of Books for hosting this weekly meme.

    How about you? What will you be reading this week?

    1. The Amistad Slave Revolt and American Abolition by Karen Zeinert

    1. Death of the Lucky Country by Donal Horne
    2. The Lost Tribe by Edward Marriott

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Bookmooch #1 - First Mooched

    I thank God for the blessings I got these days. One of them are these...
    We had tracts distribution in our place and after the activity, my partner and I went to our school to prepare for the next day. Then the caretaker gave me 2 packages. When I saw where it the package came from, I was so excited and was so happy!

    This is how the packages looked when they arrived

    From Australia. the sender even included a bookmark of Bookmooch.
    Death of the Lucky Country by Donald Horne
    From US...this book is perfect for my reading challenge
    The Lost Tribe by Edward Marriott

    Daughter of Xanadu Giveaway

    I'm not hosting a give away. Instead, I want to share about this book that captured my interest. I wanted to read this book. I've read quite a number of books with Asian settings. Since I like to read books about missionaries, most of them happened in China. Not just in books, even in movies. I guess, that's where may Asian fascination started.

    Right now, I'm hoping to get this book from a give away hosted by A Myriad of Books.

    Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang:
    Athletic and strong willed, Princess Emmajin's determined to do what no woman has done before: become a warrior in the army of her grandfather, the Great Khan Khubilai. In the Mongol world the only way to achieve respect is to show bravery and win glory on the battlefield. The last thing she wants is the distraction of the foreigner Marco Polo, who challenges her beliefs in the gardens of Xanadu. Marco has no skills in the "manly arts" of the Mongols: horse racing, archery, and wrestling. Still, he charms the Khan with his wit and story-telling. Emmajin sees a different Marco as they travel across 13th-century China, hunting 'dragons' and fighting elephant-back warriors. Now she faces a different battle as she struggles with her attraction towards Marco and her incredible goal of winning fame as a soldier.

    When I was reading the synopsis of the story, I can't help but remember Walt Disney's Mulan. The story is also about a young woman who enters the world of men. Fought like a man, and was determined to show couarage and bring honor to her family.

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Book Beginnings on Friday: Jan. 20, 2011

    How to participate: Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. Include the title and the author so we know what you're reading. Then, if you feel so moved, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and let us know if you liked or did not like the sentence. The link-up will be here at A Few More Pages every Friday.

    I'm currently reading The Amistad Slave Revolt and American Abolition by Karen Zeinert

    Here's the first line (or two).
    Unaware that his life would forever be changed in only a matter of minutes, twenty-five year-old Cinque )Seen-kay) was enjoying a quiet walk in his African homeland in early 1893.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Dead Reckoning Book Review

    • Paperback: 288 pages (paperback)
    • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 20, 2002)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0684852713
    • ISBN-13: 978-0684852713
    • Genre: Nonfiction
    From Publishers Weekly
    For the reader (with a strong stomach) interested in the juncture of crime, law and science, this book is chock-full of practical information about death by unnatural means.
    I loved watching Michael Baden’s Autopsy in HBO in my high school years. Even more so when I was in my college years. The show has somehow cause me to dream of becoming a forensic pathologist myself. But, unfortunately,t hat is way too much for me. I’m very much interested in this kind of show or stories. I don’t know why but it really does fascinates me.

    How am I ever so lucky to stumble upon this book. Upon seeing it, I grab it at once! That’s not all, it only cost me P90.oo.  Great steal, don’t you think?

    In spite of my busy schedule, I was able to read it in just 3 days. I just couldn’t put the book down. Every chapter is full of knowledge that I just absorb and gives me a peek what’s inside the morgue. It tells vividly how autopsies are done properly and improperly. The book takes the reader from the autopsy table way through the court where the forensic pathologist explains his findings, if needed.

    I was introduced to several famous personality in forensic pathology and crime investigation world. Not only that, it also narrates some of the famous and infamous trials in the history.
    I would recommend the book to anybody who likes to tinker around their minds in crime scenes and crime investigation.

    These Strange Ashes Book Review

    • Paperback: 144 pages
    • Publisher: Harpercollins (January 1985)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0060622296
    • ISBN-13: 978-0060622299

    From Publishers Weekly

    In her first year as a missionary to a small group of native women in the Ecuadorian jungle, Elisabeth Elliot faced physical and spiritual trials. In These Strange Ashes, Elliot captures the mysteries and stark realities surrounding the colorful and primitive world in which she ministered. More than just a recounting of her early days, this is a beautifully crafted and deeply personal reflection on the important questions of life and a remarkable testimony to an authentic Christian commitment.
    The first few chapters were a bit of a drag. I somehow had difficulty in bringing myself to read the next few pages. Still, (never leave the book unfinished or never attempt to read a book if you have no intentions of reading through) I kept on. I’m glad I did! The next chapters redeemed itself.

    What they experienced is what I had always been seeing in my mind whenever I think of missionaries. Their experience is what I’ve been dreaming of. Not the inconveniences of their daily life, but the opportunity and the people that they are ministering with. The daily toils and struggles, not only to survive, but to tell these quite adamant people about God, is the greatest challenge of a lifetime for any person who is willing to go to “the ends of the earth” to spread the Good News  of salvation.

    What I like about this book,is how the author captured and put into words their lives and daily encounters with the natives. The vivid descriptions of even the small things around them would make you feel that you are there with them. The book is so simple and anyone who is seeking God's will can relate to the author.

    I have copied some parts that impart wisdom and encouragement to me. Some of them are:

    Faith's most severe test comes not when we see nothing, but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith vain.
    I hope that many more will be like them. I hope that I could have their strength and determination to continue my ministry to those who are perishing without even hearing the name of Jesus. I do pray for all my fellow missionaries to be strengthened and encouraged to move forward,  be firm until the harvest is done.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Revolutions in World Missions Book Review

    •  Paperback: 212 pages (240 including the Questions & Answers at the end of the story and the ads)
    • Publisher: na (July 1, 2004)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1595890017
    • ISBN-13: 978-1595890016
    Do you long to let go of self-centeredness and be more eternally minded? Do you desire to make a difference in the lost world but aren’t sure how to go about it? Based on the testimony of thousands who have read Revolution in World Missions, this gripping message can radically change your life.
    In this exciting and fast-moving narrative, K.P. Yohannan shares how God brought him from his remote Indian village to become the founder of Gospel for Asia. Drawing from fascinating true stories and eye-opening statistics, K.P. challenges Christians to examine and change their lifestyles in view of millions who have never heard the Gospel.

    Been reading this for four days now and still got lot of things to learn. Being a missionary trained in a missionary training program similar to GFA (Gospel for Asia), I sure can relate to K.P. Yohannan’s struggle and triumph to make GFA a means for the native missionaries in India to reach out to their own people. I like the way the author focuses on the simple and most efficient way of evangelizing the non-Christian population, the method of Jesus Christ. Nothing else is a more balance ministry than what our Savior Jesus Christ did  and showed us to follow.

    We are to meet not just the physical but the spiritual needs of our poor and needy fellowmen. We are, however, need to focus first on the spiritual needs of the people so as not to misrepresent the gospel. People may accept our message only because their physical needs are met. Remove the benefits and they would slowly, but surely start to slip away from the faith they just accepted.

    One thing I don’t like about the book, though,  is much emphasis that the Western world, especially Americans, are highly liable of the native  missionaries not having full financial supports. The author has lots of criticisms about westerners ‘ lifestyle.  We are to remember that the gospel can be preached in all the ends of the world not only in the 2/3 world and not only by the native missionaries. Foreign missionaries also did a big role in evangelizing the remotest regions of the world and millions of unreached population have heard about Jesus Christ because of their sacrificed and great devotions.

    Night - Elie Wiesel Book Review

    • Paperback: 109 pages
    • Publisher: Bantam Books; WITH A NEW PREFACE BY ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN edition (March 1, 1982)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0553272535
    • ISBN-13: 978-0553272536
    • Genre: Non-fiction
    • Days spent reading: 2 days

    This is not a book review. I’ve been wanting to do reviews of the books that I’ve read. But my incapacity to organize my thoughts and put them into words, set the limitations.

    A friend of mine lend me this book, Night by Elie Wiesel. Night is the first book in a trilogy—Night, Dawn, and Day—reflecting Wiesel’s state of mind during and after the Holocaust. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a “messenger to mankind.” Elie Wiesel statement …"to remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all…" stands as a blunt summary of his views on life and serves as the driving force of his work.

    Many of us know about the appalling event in history known as Holocaust. When you hear or see this word, the only thing that comes to your mind is the tragic situation of six million Jews during World War II. Search the word “holocaust” in the web and you’ll find innumerable exposition about it.

    Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.”

    I’ve heard about the persecution of the Jewish people in my younger years. Seen some movies about it, too.  Howbeit, I didn’t know that it is called holocaust, not until a friend of mine explained to me the real meaning of this dreaded word.  when I saw a documentary about Adolf Hitler’s regime, I was so much interested and have always wanted to know more about this dark period of history.  Thus, the start of my fascination in reading books or watching films that pertains to it. One of them is The Diary of Anne Frank of which I also wrote about here.

    At the moment, I am reading another book of the same theme. Surviving Auschwitz* by Primo Levi. It tells of his remarkable and disheartening experience and survival in Auschwitz concentration camp of which he calls “hell.”
    *Primo Levi, Survival In Auschwitz, trans. Stuart Woolf (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1958).

    Anne Frank Diary

    It’s been more than a year now since I’ve read a book other than phonics, kindergarten, elementary and middle school books. :-) Thanks to my good friend Jackie, who happens to be an avid visitor of Yong-in library. She lend me a book entitled “The Diary of Anne Frank.”  At first I didn’t know that it was quite a famous book. It’s a famous play before Hollywood made several versions of it on screen.

    the cover of the book is the same as that of Anne’s diary
    Anne’s diary.

    The first picture is Anne’s father Frank who’s the only family survivor of the holocaust. He fulfilled Anne’s wish to publish her diary. The next picture is the book shelf that covers the secret annex where the family hid for almost 3 years.

    Anne is admirable and very talented. For such young age, she  inspired a lot of people so much that they made a statue in memory of her.


    What made me read this book is that I have great interest about the Jews during the holocaust.  I’ve seen movies related to it like Schindler’s List, A Beautiful Life, Jakob the Liar…etc. After reading the book, I was again reminded about the holocaust. It breaks my heart how the Jews suffered greatly during those dark times. It made me think about what will happen to God’s people when they will be persecuted because of their faith. A friend of mine says that in the last days there will only be two classes of people. One is either on your side or against you. There will be no people who will be helping us hide or escape. We are to be tested as if we’re the only person left in the world.

    To know more about Anne Frank, visit

    Three Cups of Tea Book Review

    Most of the books that I’ve read and going to read were based on recommendations and book reviews made by other book lovers or friends. Before buying or reading a book, I would search for reviews to give me ideas as to what kind of book it is.. In that way, I wouldn’t be wasting so much time, effort and money on books not worth my time I’ve read a lot of books, but never write reviews about them. In fact, this is my first time I’m going to write about a book. I don’t even know how and what to write about them. But, I really want to share what I think about the books I’m reading. 
    How I wish I’m gifted in this area so I could tell others the great reads I got. So here, you’ll be reading what I think about the book and what I’ve learned from them. If I like the book…I will read it! I’m not really critical about how it is written or how does it make me feel or if the characters are flawed or what. I focus more on what lessons or inspirations I could learn from them. You’ll never know what treasure or surprises written in its pages unless you read it yourself. The experience of other readers maybe different from what you’ll experience.

    They say that practice makes perfect. So here goes the first one…

    Title: Three Cups of Tea, One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time
    Author: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
    Genre: Non-fiction
    Pages: 368
    Publisher: Penguin Group
    Publication date: 2006, 2007, 2008
    ISBN: 0-670-03482-7 (hc.); 0978-0-14-303825-2 (pbk.)
    Followed by: Stones into Schools
    Days spent reading: 5 days

    The Look: I like the cover design. The simplicity and artistry, even the title is appropriate for the story.
    Whats Inside:
    “Here (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything – even die.” – Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan.
    Have you ever made a mistake in your life but in the end it turned out to be blessings in disguise? Greg Mortenson may have failed to summit the world’s second highest peak, K2, but he reached another summit higher than the world’s highest peak.
    The kindness of the villagers who helped him find his way back when he got lost, impressed his heart so much that he promised to come back to build a school. This book is about how he fulfilled that promised against all odds.
    • What drew me into this book is the idea of a humanitarian effort of one man building schools in a foreign land. It tells of the sacrifices and how Greg lived his life in a very simple manner just to save his money to buy materials for the construction of a school in Korphe Village, the first of the 55 schools built later on.
    • At first, I thought I’m gonna be reading long, boring narratives about another person’s life, I was tempted to quit. I’m glad that I didn’t stop reading, else, I would have missed and never know how remarkable the efforts Greg have done for the people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
    • I like how simple the story is told. It’s so simple that even kids can understand it. There’s no unnecessary articulation, all parts are essential to the whole story.
    • You’ll be able to picture the scenes in your mind and feel the intensity, anticipation and happiness of every character. The author made it possible to show and let us feel the culture and the innermost longings of each individual in the story. This book gives us insights on the cultures of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Shedding lights on some misconceptions the world has about Muslims. Narrating the simplicity and hardships of their lives in a world where nobody seems to care.
    • Another thing I like about the book is how each chapter is titled. Each one is like a one-liner phrase that catches the reader’s mind and urges you to keep on reading. I find myself eager to know what gonna happen next.
    Overall, I think the book and the author is remarkable. It inspires and awakens a desire in its readers to reach out to the less fortunate and realize that no matter how small our contribution may seem, are still essential to the uplifting of humanity. We may not be capable of helping the needy in Pakistan and Afghanistan financially, but at least our minds will be open and be less prejudice to them. Through our prayers and our own acts of kindness will lessen the burden in the hearts of the needy people. We’ll realize that in spite of our poverty, there’ll always be someone who is less fortunate than us. We just have to value and be thankful of what we have every day.

    This book is definitely worth reading. I would recommend it to any book clubs or person who wants to read something inspiring. Go get a copy for yourself!:-)

    Visit the Three Cups of Tea website to learn more about the book and the author.

    Why I Try to Avoid Novels

    I learned in an early age how books shape and influence our mind. Thus, I’m very careful in choosing what I read. I try, as best I could, to refrain from reading books that offer no usefulness in practical life. I stay away from books that only give me temporary excitement or sentimentalism. Time is so precious to be wasted on these kind of readings. Why? Here’s why…
    Many youth are eager for books. They desire to read everything that they can obtain. Let them take heed what they read as well as what they hear.
    The readers of fiction are indulging an evil that destroys spirituality, eclipsing the beauty of the sacred page. It creates an unhealthy excitement, fevers the imagination, unfits the mind for usefulness, weans the soul from prayer, and disqualifies it for any spiritual exercise.
    My dear young friends, question your own experience as to the influence of exciting stories. Can you, after such reading, open the Bible and read with interest the words of life? Do you not find the Book of God uninteresting? The charm of that love story is upon the mind, destroying its healthy tone, and making it impossible for you to fix the attention upon the important, solemn truths that concern your eternal welfare.
    Resolutely discard all trashy reading. It will not strengthen your spirituality, but will introduce into the mind sentiments that pervert the imagination, causing you to think less of Jesus and to dwell less upon His precious lessons. Keep the mind free from everything that would lead it in a wrong direction. Do not encumber it with trashy stories, which impart no strength to the mental powers. The thoughts are of the same character as the food provided for the mind. -Messages to Young People
    Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. – Philippians 4:8, KJV
    It doesn't mean, though, that I don’t read non-religious books. I’m just careful in choosing what to read to make sure the time I spent reading an entire book is all worth it. Happy Reading!:-)

    Last Buy for 2010

    It’s been a couple of weeks now that I've been away from the blogosphere. I got busy preparing for our Pinas x’mas vacation. Now that I’m back, I opted to post something about the books I got as Christmas present for myself. hehehe!

    There’s been a lot of changes in Olongapo since last year. Some good things and places didn't change though, and I’m so glad! There’s this one big grocery store that sells used books where I've bought some really good books a couple of years ago. I was so happy that they still sell books when I came to visit. Most of the books are fiction though, so I only got myself 3 books for a really cheap prize.

    Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan, Dead Reckoning by Michael Baden, M.D. and Marion Roach, and The Amistad Slave Revolt and American Abolition by Karen Zeinert.

    The National Bookstore in the city mall of Olongapo is no longer there. Instead, you can see the construction for SM Olongapo branch. I had to go inside SBMA to see the other NBS branch near the Royal Duty Free Port. The bookstore is a bit smaller and has fewer books to choose from than the one outside before. What made me hang around for quite a while, is the two tables of bargain books. The prices ranged for as low as P20 up to P500+. Due to budget constrain, I only got myself 2 books that really caught my fancy.Things I’ve Been Silent About by Azar Nafisi and Freedom By Any Means by Betty Deramus.

    Here’s the steal…I got these hardbound for only P99 each! I wanted to buy more books and to take advantage of book sales, but appointments with the dentist made it impossible. But still, I’m happy for the loot. Add to that the books on my TBR list that I brought to Korea, hoping to read them all this year.

    I also bought these Ice Breakers for our small group. We gather together to have Bible study and for other social activities. These are stacks of cards with questions or instructions written on it. Each person will have to draw one card and answer or try to do what’s written on it. It a  nice way to get to know each other especially for new friends.


    I would like to share this inspiring video about how reading inspires people.

    Why I Started Reading Again

     “A house without books is like a room without windows”
    Being with kindergarten and elementary students all day makes me feel like my brain is shrinking into their level. I only got to read phonics books and story books for kids. I first realized this problem when I wrote an article for the 1000MM official magazine, Maranatha. I just knew then that I have to go back to my habit of reading at least one book a week or for two weeks. In that way, I could at least revive my brain cells and think like an adult again. :-)

    Before coming to Korea as a missionary, I used to read at least 1 or 2 books  a month or less. I would buy a book every payday and try to finish it before the next payday.  I could usually finish a 300-page book in just one week, given that there are no interruptions (bathroom breaks, shower, meals and sleeping). However, my work schedule makes it difficult to do so.

    If I cannot read a book for couple of months, I feel like I’m being left out and malnourished. There’s this hunger that will haunt me and will not go away unless I read again. So even during my missionary training, aside from reading my Bible, I would borrow religious books from the campus library and read.

    I’ve been looking for a library in Seoul few weeks ago but failed to find one.  Bookstores near our place have limited english books to offer and most of them are fiction and quite expensive for me. One time,

    I saw one of my student reading a Harry Potter book. I asked him if he bought it and said that he borrowed it in a library. A week later, my Korean teachers called the library in Jungnang-gu to inquire about the requirements for a foreigner applying for a borrower’s card. After the call, I took the adventure of finding the library all by myself. I finally found it after going up and down the streets and pretending that I wasn’t lost.:-) It only took 15 minutes to get there by foot from where I live.

    When I got inside , my first problem was to find someone who can speak English. With the help of sign language and so me Korean phrases, I got my borrower’s card in just a few minutes. It is like an ATM card and I like the color.

    That same day I borrowed a book entitled, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like reading fiction. It doesn’t mean that I don’t read, though! :-) Well,  it’s just that I’ve been so intrigued by this book and I just couldn’t let it pass unread.

    So now, I think I’m back on track again. In between my classes, I would go to my desk a read a page or two. I would usually read until midnight (bad habit!) before going to sleep. That’s not all! Even my partners are now starting to read with me. I’m thinking of setting a goal for myself to read a number of books next year. Hmmm…this will be exciting I think.

    Let me share some quotes about books & reading that I really like

    “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”  ~Mark Twain, attributed

    “A book worth reading is worth buying.” John Ruskin

    “You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ” ~Paul Sweeney

    “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”  ~Abraham Lincoln

    “‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book; in every book he finds passages which seem to be confidences or sides hidden from all else and unmistakably meant for his ear; the profit of books is according to the sensibility of the reader; the profound thought or passion sleeps as in a mine, until it is discovered by an equal mind and heart.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.” Mark Twain


    Book.worm [n]

    : a person unusually devoted to reading and study

    : a person who prefers reading to just about any other activity

    I love books. But I never think or regard myself as a bookworm. Maybe I am. I never liked reading when I was young. In fact, I’m the worst reader in my class in first grade. My first encounter with books started when my eldest brother asked me to read in advance my textbooks. Compelling me that it would be of great benefit to know the lessons ahead of time before the subject is discussed is the class. My brother has influenced me greatly in this area of my academic literacy. He would tell me to read the book from cover to cover. Never start reading in the middle of the book and to read only with eyes and mouth closed (no fingers tracing on every word).

    I started reading any reading materials available. Raised in an environment of grown-ups with considerable generation gap, I ended up reading newspapers and Reader’s Digest, instead. Other than my textbooks in schools, I never had books suitable for my age and comprehension level.

    Sure enough, my level of comprehension increased for about a hair-width. That’s progress for me. As aforementioned, I was a slow learner and reader in first grade. My Homeroom teacher then, gave a dismaying prophecy that I would never learn to read well and pass my English subject with flying colors.

    As I mentioned previously, only newspapers and Reader’s Digest were available for me to read. I would always try to answer the Vocabulary Power section of the Reader’s DigestBilly Goats, The Gingerbread Man, The Princess and the Pea, Midas Golden Touch, The Emperor’s New Clothes… and all other tall and fairy tales. I remembered drawing some of the characters in these books. and the Cartoon section of the newspapers. The first children’s book that I’ve read is a collection of famous children’s stories like
    Few of the stories I enjoyed in my early years of reading.

    As I was growing up, I was able to save my money to buy myself a book. During my college years, a special person in my life gave me lots…and I mean lots of books. I would say that that is the start of my love affair with books. From that moment a desire to have and read books aflamed in my heart. Every payday, I would allot a certain amount intended only to buy a book. I envisioned to have my own personal library. My dream reached its fulfillment just before my college graduation. Most of my books were just given to me as gift. That’s why I treasure them so much. I even told my family that if ever our house would be caught in fire, I would save my books first before anything else.:-)

    My poor ability to evaluate a book if it’s good or not limits and hinders me when I’m buying or simply choosing from a library. Unless someone more qualified recommends a good book to me. I have friends who would recommend books worth reading. Sometimes I would read reviews about certain books before buying them. Most of the times I would ask my friends who are aslo bookworms for recommendations and we would exchange books.

    One time, my brother recommended a book for me. He introduced me to Max Lucado's book He Still Moves Stones. At that time, I relied on my brother's recommendations. I bought several more of Max Lucado's books and added them to my personal library.

    Some of the books recommended by my friends.

     Although I love to read, I don’t read just any book. I prefer to read books that would strengthen my mind and character and that would help me to become a better person. My favorite books are those written by Ellen G. White. This statement from her change the way I choose books to read. I’ve put side novels or fictions for the peril it may cause me. As the saying goes, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

    “The readers of fiction are indulging an evil that destroys spirituality, eclipsing the beauty of the sacred page. It creates an unhealthy excitement, fevers the imagination, unfits the mind for usefulness, weans the soul from prayer, and disqualifies it for any spiritual exercise.”
    These books have greatly influence my character and personality development.

    Books have changed my life forever. It helped me a lot during the times when I have no one to answer my questions about life, when depressed or even simply when I’m bored or have no one to talk to. It helped me a lot in my studies. It feels good to have something to say in group discussions or in any conversation because you’re not totally clueless about what they’re talking about.

    During my Elementary graduation, I purposely walked in front of my first grade Homeroom teacher, showing her my trophy in English. She looked at me penitently and then she smiled. I would like to think that she’s proud of me. To see their dim-witted students receive tokens of their achievements make any teacher proud of them. I didn’t hold any grudge against her just like every child who easily forgives and forgets. Her words were the very force that motivated and encourage me to improve my learning competence. And my desire to learn started when I first learn to read books.


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