Reading books: the struggle is real

“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered.”
E.B. White

More and more, I find my patience and focus for reading books in decline. That’s alarming for me because I’m an author.

I also mentor people who want to be authors and lead a workshop called Project Author.

At the workshop I advise my starry eyed aspiring authors to read! read! read! Read until you’re so full and you write from the overflow.

Lately, my conscience has been telling me, no shouting at me to walk the talk.

So, last night and this morning I tried to change my habit of bringing my phone with me to the toilet and by my bedside. It’s a nasty habit, especially the former. I find it embarassing that anyone would watch YouTube or read the news or IG posts while doing number 2. Yet, that’s a habit I’ve started.

Anyway, last night I turned to one of the unread books in my library to read while in the few places where people can’t reach me. The toilet. I read a memoir by Nick Vujacic and found myself skipping sentences and paragraphs… Oh no! Was I actually scrolling the book like it were IG or FB?

I’m alarmed by that. Could it be the book or perhaps my brain has been trained by all the social media apps on my phone to skip and scan.

It was around September or October last year, after picking up some books at the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) when I last enjoyed losing myself in a book. Reading was like a spa treatment for the brain.

These were the books that recaptured my mind and caused me to leave my cellphone alone.

Street God by Dimas Salaberrios.

This book was a page turner. I even spent a Sunday afternoon in our guest room just to finish reading it. Didn’t go on IG or FB the whole time.

Street God is a memoir by a former street gang drug dealer who is pursued by the police, competing drug lords and… God.

Forty – The year my husband became a quadriplegic by Michelle Reutschle.

Michelle’s self published book deserves a main stream publisher. Her writing is poetic and powerful. Not something you expect from a lawyer. Sorry Attorneys.

The story and miracle healings–both physically and spiritually and emotionally– that Michelle shares from her POV as a wife taking care of her Pastor husband kept me up many nights. There were times that I would stop to savor the words and read a beautiful line or thought from the author.

This rarely happens when I’m scrolling through IG posts. Except maybe when it’s my wife’s inspirational posts. (Just being POGI to miriamq888 🙂

One day, I’ll read Michelle’s book again.

And then this book by Injap Sia.

Simple and refreshing advice from the young billionaire founder of Mang Inasal. This book kept me company when my phone was low batt at the doctor’s clinic.

I have a stash of books that I got from the last Big Bad Wolf book fair.

Please pray that I’ll be able to keep the phone away by my bedside and toilet so I can read and bring back my humanity.


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About me

Ardy Roberto

Ardy Roberto

Best-selling author of 8 books; Co-founder of Salt & Light Ventures and Inspire Leadership Consultancy; Husband to Miriam Quiambao and father to Joshy Boy.



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