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Books. Do they fascinate you? They fascinate me. What is a book? That sounds easy but it isn’t. One can say that they are bundles of paper with writings on it. But that doesn’t really capture it essence.

I am guessing most people separate books into two categories: reference books and leisure books. But then there are so many ways to categorize books.

I myself divide books into several categories. First off, books can be roughly divided into two categories: for knowledge or for leisure. For knowledge, it means that it includes all types of reference books, textbooks, handbooks, books on craft and art, etc,etc. For leisure, it is a bit more complicated.

Reading is both a habit and a hobby. My mother started me off on Enid Blyton and I continued on my own. Hence, reading has always been special for me. All kinds of reading are pleasurable, as long as I don’t have a pressing need to remember every tiny detail.

Leisure books are, for me, divided into three distinct categories. The first category overlaps with ‘for knowledge’ books. They are books on art and craft. I like reading and trying my hand on various crafts, especially experimenting with art. This category, however, only forms a miniscule part of my repertoire of leisure books, one reason being the outrageous price. Can you imagine RM89.90 for a medium size hardcover book on watercolours? Expensive. Add to that the cost of the materials needed and the time needed to experiment, well, anyone can understand ( as long as he or she is not an art student).

The second category makes up most of my books. This category includes novels, short stories, comics, and even fairy tales. One of my favourite writers now is Lee Child. My taste runs more to crime, suspense, mystery, thrillers as well as psychology play. For comics and mangas, I like titles like Bleach, Hikaru no Go, etc. Although I spent most of my leisure time with this category, it is simply not the gem of my ‘collection’. I know, it sounds as though I am a great book collector, but in all actuality, it is just a collection of second-hand books (I am poor).

The third and last category I call it as ‘classics’. Now, my definition of classic may be slightly different from the customary meaning. Therefore, don’t go all offended and angry. Books I regarded as classics includes ‘The Lord of the Ring’, ‘The Hobbit’, books by Charles Dickens, ‘The Romance of Three Kingdoms’ and ‘The Journey to The West’.

To many, a book is just that, book. However, to me , it is a Friend. An Old Friend at that. I love to disappear into the faraway worlds contained in the books. For just a while, I am free of the various demands of Life. It is exhilarating and refreshing after the humdrum of real life.

Whenever I am upset or angry, it is usual for me to pick a book at random and read through it to calm down. The sad part is that no matter how much I read, my grammar does not improve (grins).

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