Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Bookend Decree

I issued a “decree” yesterday to my eldest daughter: She is to read at least one book a month followed through with a report on it.

One book in 30 days should be a cinch; to a bookworm it would be nothing, but the actual challenge would be in the report on whatever it is that she has read.

I told her that the report would have to alternate between English and Bahasa Melayu, and that she could have her pick on the books she wants to read as long as they are not comic books and school text books.

Her language skills needs sharpening, but what I am more worried of is in her somewhat urm, fear, of expanding her thoughts beyond what she thinks her teachers (perhaps even her parents) would deemed as correct.

Thus, when she was asked to write about a particularly funny experience with her loved ones, it was quite the chore for her.

Of course, she is only entering her first few days in Standard Four, but there are obvious barriers that need removing.

Her younger sister will also be doing the same minus the report so I’ve bought two glitzy coloured notebooks as their “Books-read Diary”.

I’m keen to see how things progresses from this little experiment to perk up my children’s creative juices.

All the same, I realized that I, too, have not read a good book for quite a long while now. Not even a good comic book so much so that I cannot recall the last which created a lasting.

The last two which did perk me up was a thick book on Islam by an Indonesian writer who I have since forgotten (discovered this at the spankingly new Shah Alam public library only to later found out that that it was a “reference only” copy) and Reza Aslan’s “Tiada Tuhan Melainkan Allah”.

This was the translated version of “No God but God” first published in 2005, but I was hooked after reading the first few (tens, in fact) pages when I chanced upon it at Times Bookstore near my workplace weeks ago.

Alas, the sole copy was sold off when I wanted to purchase it a few days later but there it was on the shelves during lunch today.

And so it sits inside a plastic bag next to my piles for in, pending and out files waiting to be read later tonight, something which I can’t wait to do.

I am wondering now if there was anything similar which had perked my daughters’ “reading buds” which they mentioned to me and my better half which we – in the haste of chasing after life – had conveniently or inadvertently let slip by without realizing its importance.

Words spoken but left unsaid. Really should start listening to them.

And, yes, the year started with a bang (three in fact, which is no laughing matter when you think of the seriousness in intentions) for Malaysia with Anwar Ibrahim off the hook for alleged sodomy.

The seemingly surprise verdict? Sure seems to me like a poker player dealing his good hands way too early, just like the whole Sept 16 debacle the last time for the PKR man. He will never learn, will he? Sigh…

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