All of these beliefs changed when I went abroad with my family. After going to school for a few weeks, my ESL teacher took us to a library nearby and we were given library cards. At that time, my English was still poor so I only stick to reading books from my ESL classes. Later on, as I began to know more I started reading other books from the library. At that time, one of the popular series among kids at school is Goosebumps. At school, we were given free books at least twice a year in elementary. I got my first “Goosebump” book and that got me hooked on to Goosebumps series. I read all of the Goosebumps series available at the library and after that I got bored as there wasn’t anymore Goosebumps to read. Then I notice quite a large collection of books for the series “The Babysitters Club”. So I started off with the first book and I was hooked on to the series. I think I prefer Babysitters Club series as I was a growing teenager at that time and the series target young audience like me. The books are a bit outdated but still I like reading them.
I also checked out several books just because it was mentioned in the Babysitters Club. I started off with Nancy Drew and later I also read the Hardy Boys. I like reading mysteries so I read what I could get from the young adult section. I also tried out horse stories as it was mentioned in the BSC and I read books like the Black Stallion, etc.
At the library, there are different sections for different varieties of books and I started reading from the section aimed for kids, When I was a bit older, I started reading from the young adult section. I didn’t know such place exit at first and I only went in there to read some magazines. One of the librarian joked that we (my friends and I) have reading most of the books for the kids and young adult section so he’s afraid we might not be coming there often as there aren’t much to read anymore.
One day in junior high, we were given free books again and this time I got a Goosebump book but my friend got a book about dragons. The look on his face was hilarious when he got the book. Since he was a guy, he wasn’t interested in those kind of stories and asked me to switch books with him. I did so and at first the book looked boring to me. But as I started reading, I was again absorbed in reading fantasy novels. That book name was “Calling on Dragons” and I lost that book now. I read a lot of fantasy novels by Tameron Pierce. I don’t really remember much about the stories now.
Goosebump died down on me in junior high as I began to read other novels but even though I was getting older by that time, I liked reading the “Animorphs” series which was intended for kids. I wasn’t the only who liked them. My friends like them also so when we couldn’t find other Animorphs books to read at the library nearby, we went to another library a little far from our home. My mother didn’t like me to go there alone so I have to take my sister along or go with friends.
The last series I was reading before I came back to Yangon started off with “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeline L’ Engle. I don’t remember anything about the storyline right now but I remember that I really loved those novels by that author. I was pretty lonely at school as my friends were no longer there anymore and her books kept me company. I must have really looked like a geek or a nerd, wearing thick glasses and reading novels most of the time even in class.
I can hardly remember any of the storyline for most of the books I have read unless I have them at home. I have a huge collection of Babysitters Club books given by the school, bought from yard sales and later on through a friend who grew up reading them. But now I don’t have those books anymore as I donated them to a library along with our Goosebump series and other children novels which we thought were pretty childish for us to keep at home.
The last time I went to a library, I saw a guy about 16 who said he want to read some scary books and the guy at the desk said check out those Goosebumps series. I couldn’t help smiling as those books were the ones we donated. There are a couple of translated or revised versions of scary novels available in Myanmar now. Those stories are similar to Goosebump and actually twoof them was based on the seires and I have already checked some of them out. I even bought the first novel by Thadoe Tayza, knowing that it’s a translated version of Goosebumps as I couldn’t rent the novel at that time. I prefer reading them in English than in Myamar version ‘cuz the feeling you get when reading the original was lost when I read the translated version. I didn’t bother to buy his books again but I always rent them from the book rental shop whenever I see them. But I never really read the whole story. I just started reading from the back to the front and from the front of the back and after knowing the story, I gave the book to my sister. I know
I’m just wasting money for renting books which I don’t really read but I was curious about what kind of stories he wrote in a new novel. The original books were intended for kids from age 9 to 13 but in Myanmar, people over 13 read these kind of books. I wish there are more novels aiming at younger audience and parents should encourage their kids to read. Some parent think that kids shouldn’t be reading novels when they are still in school but compared to my experience, I learned more from reading the novels than being taught in school. That’s how I improved my English. Whenever I look at children literature books at book shops, I only see short translation of some famous novel, the Harry Potter translated series, and books similar to Goosebumps. I don’t see novels like the one I read when I was younger.
The purpose of this post is for me to share a list of books I read when I was younger. I had this idea for a couple of weeks and I thought my post will be longer than this but as I wrote them down, I can’t remember half of what I was thinking when I got this idea. Well, I will write about them again, maybe with more details after I read some of the books back. I’m reading back The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman but as I don’t spend much time on reading it, I haven’t read much of it yet. It’s funny that I could read Harry Potter 7th in 2 weeks but I couldn’t even finish a 160 pages in a month.