of books (and boys!)

when i am out for coffee or beer alone, which is most of the time, whether on weekends or after work, i always bring along a book. not because i want to catch everyone's attention (as if being alone in a crowded coffee shop, beach, or bar isn't enough to make everyone look at you and remark: "what a loser!"), but just to keep myself from overly staring at people.

yes, i have a tendency to do that. stare at people, which is a bad habit. and bad manners (can i use the singular form?) too. it makes people whom you are staring at uncomfortable (i also hate it when people stare at me as if i am from venus. good thing i turned down every opportunity to be in the movies and on television!), and at the same time it's so embarrassing when people catch you staring at them.

so to stop this beastly habit, i decided it's better to read a book. (and magazines too, mostly about fashion, architecture, business, politics and tourist destinations). anyway, i have been bringing books (ok novels) everywhere since i learned how to read. chos! it's the best way to fight irritation when stuck in a traffic, or when a flight is delayed, among other life's little annoyances.

too, i love my solitude. reading a book helps to discourage people (mostly strangers fighting off boredom as well) from engaging in small talks. i usually do this when i am at the airport, during a flight, taking a bus for a long trip outside of metro manille, or a cruise ship. haven't you noticed how strangers just love talking about themselves, their lives, their darkest secrets to fellow strangers when stuck in an airport, a plane or any other mode of transportation? i so hate that!!

anyway, when those point-and-click digital cameras flooded the market (and thus became cheaper too), i bought one and eventually acquired the habit of taking photos of the book i was reading with whatever it was that i was drinking or eating at the moment. then i would upload them on my laptop. i didn't know how it started. nor when. surely, it went back way, way before facebook was ever invented by those anti-social nerds at harvard. and definitely before some people acquired the annoying and irritating habit of posting whatever it was they were eating or drinking on facebook.

one drunken night, while i was looking for photos of my former flats in hong kong, i came across several pictures of books that i was reading at the time and what i was having for tea, dinner or lunch. sometimes, they were simply photos of the book laid out on a bench, on my bed, or on top of a table or a crowded shelf. they were taken in a beach, in a bar, at home, or anywhere i happened to be reading, whiling the time, fighting the urge of committing suicide, or keeping myself from staring at the passing strangers -- mostly young men in tight-fitting shirts and shorts to show off their gym-toned bodies (and for the more daring ones, totally shirtless! i love!!!).

since these photos have started taking up too much space on my files in my computer, i was planning to delete some or most of them. but before i do that, i decided to share them with you.




















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