The Mysterious Author

When I was a child, I was quite a bookworm (or, from a badly-translated bootleg Fullmetal Alchemist sub, "a book-eating monster"). I read many books that have been since forgotten for similar reasons as others: among them, the vicarious hedonism of being transported to another world.

With the decline in use of physical books, I reminisce warmly on when I read for leisure. Now, my reading is mostly filled with technical and professional education materials mixed with the hullabaloo of the Internet.

Amy Tan I
A Chinese-American author always stuck with me. Although I never read any of Amy Tan's books due to procrastination, thinking that I wasn't old enough at the time to understand or appreciate them, I still haven't read The Joy Luck Club due to my self-disdain of lengthy time commitments like reading a novel. This is despite finding copies of her early novels in the house; as irrational as it seems, I don't want the obligation of finishing a book weighing on other commitments.

Passing Affairs with Asian Literature
I never finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha although I was enchanted by it, but I finished the 656-page Brothers by Yua Hua in a record 3 lazy summer days years ago, gripped by its illuminations of the rapid change in China and its people. I considered Ties that Bind, Ties that Break about a girl's struggle against foot binding enough old Chinese historical lore for middle school, and the obscure Japanese book The Spring Tone now seems to be like a Haruki Murakami ripoff judging by the things that a friend who has read his books tells me.

I must admit that I am biased, but I relate strongly with Asian books for their similarities, implicit understanding, and culture.

The Library as a Tomb
The library is a peaceful, productive place I love in all of its forms, but its functions have confused me. Clearly, the majority are non-profit, but it boggles the mind that it is impossible to read or watch everything in a library. In fact, I wonder how many materials are even cycled through, about the people who devour the most obscure, rigorous, and technical texts, or how many times a passionate romance fantasy by a small-name author is even read in an oversaturated genre.

Time cannot be taken back, so only the readers will know what they gain from the experience.

Writing can be easy as virtually everyone who is literate can do it as I am now, but I think that many words, worlds, and knowledge will scarcely be opened, sort of like being contained in a tomb. The same goes for published works of the 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, etc. and the passing and transient minds who made their ideas known.

The Mysterious Author
One personal touch I find entertaining is the book jacket. In a valiant attempt to hook the reader with a cliff-hanger, the author's description usually follows. Often times, it reveals funny quirks usually involving habits or pets of someone who devoted so much time writing something for purpose or profit.

Amy Tan II
Revisiting her website, I read her brief autobiography and felt many parallels and understanding of her Chinese-American life to mine. One of her books' author descriptions mentions being part of a band of famous authors called The Rock Bottom Remainders. Many promotional materials mention this funny and colorful fact regardless of its seriousness, but I think it inspires one to live a creative, interesting, and full life.