I'm reading "The Lazarus Vendetta" of Robert Ludlum and Patrick Larkin. It's like watching "Mission Impossible" or any other thriller sans the distraction of a seatmate.
I know a lot of people who hate Ludlum and people who read Ludlum. I love Ludlum. Ludlum taught me how to read. Ludlum introduced me to the world I only dreamt of seeing when I was young - Vienna, Washington, Amsterdam - and places - the State Department, the Capitol, etc.
When I was younger, when I was still in my sleepy little hometown, the only book I was able to get a hand on were copies of the Bible in Cebuano, Tagalog and English and second-hand Ludlum novels brought by the older siblings of my well-to-do classmates from Cebu.
My classmates would bring the books to school to show off. I borrowed the books. When my friends later found out that I was reading their books they started bringing others titles, other authors. They would ask me to read the books and tell them the story. I would later hear them telling other friends that they've read the books.
Ludlum opened my eyes that there is a world beyond the tall mountains that surround our little island hometown. Ludlum taught me to love reading and expand the reach of my imagination beyond the tall coconut trees and the horizon beyond the setting sun.
The first book I read was the "Gospel According to St. John," a small book which was a gift to me by a vacationing seminarian. I was around five years old then. The second book was "Silas Marner." Then the Bible. Then Ludlum came when I was in Grade 6.
I wonder what young people are reading these days especially in my hometown. The last time I went home I saw young people busy themselves day in and day out in front of computer monitors playing online games.
What I do when I'm not blogging? I look for Ludlum novels. I can also proudly say that I've read all of Ludlum's books and all the books of Tom Clancy, Le Carre, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon and Michael Crichton.
When I was in college, I was forced to read the classics and Nobel Prize winning authors. These were the only non-fiction books available in the seminary during that time. I had no chance to buy my own books because I only had a P50 monthly allowance then.
When I started to have an income, I splurged on books - award-winning books, hard-to-find books, books, books, books. When I was in Saudi Arabia, I even bought books on Physics for lack of something to read.
I never felt sorry to have loved Ludlum. I will always be grateful to him for introducing me to the world of books and the world of men and the world of people who kill and love and sometimes fail.
So back to the world of Lt. Col. Jon Smith and his Covert-One mission. Let's go hunt some terrorists.