When I entered college in August 2019, I realized that I had to devote a huge part of my time to reading books—thick ones that have almost a thousand pages with fonts so small and spacing so tight. This was something I had to accept, especially because my degree program—accountancy—requires so much reading.
I had no problem with reading, though I was not an avid reader before college. I usually just read a book or two in a quarter. But why not give it a try anyway? I mean, why don’t I try to read more books, both academic and novels? After all, they say that reading widens one’s imagination—something I think will be crucial in the near future. And what better book to start with than Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables”?
To someone who is not used to reading much, “Les Miserables” is puzzling at first glance—it has over 1,000 pages, the words are so compact, single-space, small font, you get it. Yet Hugo’s magnum opus has been read by millions around the world, adopted in other forms such as theater, and was said to have inspired Andres Bonifacio to fight for his ideals. After reading that book for over a month, I understood why.
From its historical notes to the social cancers that existed during that time—the literary piece remains relevant. Not only can I relate to the current issues we face, but I also knew more perspectives and angles on how they view societal ills.
And it’s not only novels that I read more intently. Unlike in high school, where required readings are light, college books are heavier—both in substance and in physical terms. It seems difficult and more challenging to appreciate such books obviously. After all, it is taxing to understand their content in the first place, more so to appreciate it.
But thanks to diligent and passionate lecturers and professors who guided me and my classmates, we slowly understood and appreciated what’s within those seemingly intimidating books. More importantly, we gained mastery of the topics in preparation for our board exam, which we hope to ace at our first attempt.
Since the pandemic started, I have spent a substantial part of my time reading. From here, I learned—just as I expected—that books are necessary for one’s growth and development. It gives the reader a bridge to a new world, and it provides a deeper understanding of the things that make the real world work.
To many, reading may seem like a daunting and intimidating task, but it can also lead us to greater heights with a broader and deeper understanding of the world around us.—CONTRIBUTED INQ