Books have changed me in more ways than one. Even though I didn’t read as much as I do during my time of “trial,” books somehow found their way to me and with their own subtle magic helped me fight my battles. Today, rather than listing books I’m thankful for, I wanted to share with my readers how books have helped shape me. Albeit I know I have a long way to go but I wanted to write this post as an assurance that reading is a form of self-care. The books you choose to fill your heart with do influence your life. So, authors & readers, share as many books as you can! There is joy & healing to be found in stories!
AWARENESS OF MY ABUSE
“So, I guess we are who we are for alot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
It began with Perks of Being Wallflower. I didn’t quite understand then the concept of emotional abuse, much less consent. All I knew at that time of my life was that something was terribly wrong. I couldn’t explain away the overwhelming guilt and sadness that had taken root in me. I had picked up Wallflower on a whim but its story has stayed on with me til date.
Related post LET’S TALK ABUSE & RAPE IN YA FANTASY;
Related review DAMSEL BY ELANA K. ARNOLD
THE STRENGTH TO BE MY OWN PERSON
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
Female role models are crucial in literature. One does not need to write a sword-wielding woman to have her be considered strong. Books taught me that women are not always what the media portrays, that I could be the supporting character and still change the world. Books taught me that a woman has every right to be as flawed, as messy as she wanted to be.
Related post BAD WOMEN IN LITERATURE
THE CHANCE TO BE HEARD
“If we can’t write diversity into sci-fi, then what’s the point? You don’t create new worlds to give them all the same limits of the old ones.”
― Jane Espenson
With so many Asian stories popping up in the publishing industry these days, the books I’ve been reading feel like home. It is not that the characters look similar to me, or that we behave in similar ways, but to have the my culture celebrated in literature is one I had not experienced until recently.
Related reviews: KINGDOM OF THE BLAZING PHOENIX BY JULIE C. DAO, A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE BY SANGU MANDANNA
THE COURAGE TO WRITE
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath
I always knew I wanted to be a writer. But back then, just like the books I read, my writings were centred around white characters. I didn’t know then that I could actually write about my country and people would be interested in reading it!
Now, my current WIP is based heavily on Filipino culture with Filipino main characters. My first WIP features Filipino, Indian, and Japanese characters!
A COMPASSIONATE HEART
“At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”
The more I read, the more I interacted with the book community, the more socially aware I became. It has made me more open to learning about my privileges and how I, as a POC in a position of privilege, can help others. I learn and I share. This is one of the reasons I became a blogger; because I wanted to educate people on mental health and provide a safe space for abuse survivors while talking about books.
Related posts A BOOKISH DISCUSSION ON MY MONTHLY FAVOURITE READS; HOW TO MAKE BLOGGING FRIENDS IN THE BOOK COMMUNITY
How has reading changed you? What is something recent that you learned from the book community?
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