death by paper cut

{October 25, 2007}   book worm

i had often seen my master and dick employed in reading; and i had a great curiosity to talk to these books, as i thought they did; and so to learn how all things had a beginning: for that purpose i have taken up a book, and have talked to it, and then put my ears to it, when alone, in hopes it would answer me; and i have been very much concerned when i found it remained silent.

– Olaudah Equiano

equiano penned his survival story of the eighteenth century atlantic slave trade in a book i studied, and along with william wilberforce fought relentlessly for the abolition of the slave trade mostly ran by the british and americans. the movie amazing grace features equiano as one of the abolitionist.

in some ways equiano is not far from the truth in his description of this initial contact with the written text. books do speak and often (even more in fiction interestingly) contain the essence of the life experiences of the author and perhaps the crux of being human no matter what the culture, gender and century the author lived in. i do not subscribe to the postmodernist notion of the-death-of-the-author since nothing exist in a vacuum.

as such, i have a profound love of books and would rank it in my list of valued items to allocated space to where space is limited. in fact, 90% of the things that i’ve packed to be shipped back are reading materials; books, course readers, information pamphlets, files. yes, i’m bringing back all my course readers with me.

surprisingly, even after 2 years of overseas living, it doesn’t look like much after packing and requires a grand total of only 2 cartons. everything else not in those boxes can fit the 20kg baggage limit to be taken with me on the plane. i’m quite glad that i’m a light traveler that way; travel light, live light.


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