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The book

/ 10:38 AM November 17, 2013

According to Wikipedia, the love of books is bibliophilia or bibliophilism. The person who loves books is a bibliophile. A bookworm is someone who loves books for their content, or who loves reading.

I grew up a bibliophile. My late dad was one and so his collection of books, fiction and non-fiction were my favorite fare. I remember a complete set of The Book of Knowledge which was my loyal search engine then, long before Google and Yahoo made them obsolete.

As a lawyer, it was natural for him to buy the series of Perry Mason legal cases. There was also the collection of Robert Ludlum books. Outside the home, I would devour the books of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, never mind if they’re fictional characters. For me, it was exciting to unravel mysterious cases like these young sleuths.

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From a bibliophile, I evolved to become a bookworm. I read books not because they are a popular collection but because of their content. I found myself reading deeply and not just enjoying books.

Top of my mind is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” a fictional tale that revolves around America’s wealthiest citizens who refuse to pay increasingly high taxes, reject government regulations and then disappear, shutting down vital industries. It evoked the imagery of what would happen if the mythological Atlas refused to continue to hold up the sky.

At that time, the book awakened my intellect. Now, in the light of recent events in the world, I go beyond understanding but also reflect on how the world would be had God not continued to hold us up in His hands.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is another book that I keep in my heart. It’s not imaginary as some people say. It is a true story of a 13-year-old Jewish girl who hid from the Nazi persecution of the Jews of Europe for two years from June 1942 to August 1944. During this period, Anne recorded her feelings, her emotions and her thoughts as well as the events that happened to her in a diary given to her by her father.

At that time, it was an interesting read to me. I have always loved true stories. Again, in the light of strife and calamities our country has been facing, the survivors may not have a diary to record their feelings, thoughts and trauma but media have documented their stories. Anne’s diary was found years later but today, the real life stories, tragic or otherwise is seen and heard immediately all over the world.

Whether fictional novels like “Atlas Shrugged” or a factual story like “The Diary of Anne Frank,” books will always give a message to readers in all strata of life and in whatever era it will be. They’re like letters for everyone to read.

God has his own letter for the world—the Holy Bible.

Today, it is my daily fare. The bookworm in me has stopped reading the latest tomes on display in a bookstore’s shelf but I try not to miss this greatest letter of all times. I believe it is the best source of inspiration, wisdom and hope.

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In these times of need, tragedy and helplessness, the Word of God is the best lifeline. God will never let go of His care and love for us. And His Holy Book is His voice we must keep on hearing and His letter that we must continue reading.

I must admit though that last year, I wasn’t really faithful in doing this. Thus, last New Year’s Eve, I told God I will endeavor to finish reading the Bible by end of this year. I started by reading 3 chapters a day from the first book of Genesis. Today I am reading the book of Hosea. I still have to go through the New Testament. Will I be able to accomplish my commitment to God? Not sure but I will surely do my best.

My prayer: Lord, grant me the grace to read your Word effectively — not to focus much on finishing your Book but to immerse myself in what your Word wants to teach me to become the person you want me to be. Always remind me of your message in Joshua 1: 8: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Amen. The good things that are happening in my life have been the results of consulting the Bible for God’s will. Why then should I let go of reading this greatest Book in the world? Join me.

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TAGS: bibliophilia, Books, column, opinion
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