Dear Reading Diary,


Have you ever read The Chronicles of Narnia? I did: I borrowed a couple of  Narnia books from a lit-chick-friend.

It was about crossing worlds. And a lot more.

As I brave my eyes to finish de Lint’s The Onion Girl, I found myself seeing “echoes” of worlds from Narnia. The differences are outstanding and let me take the pleasure of pointing them out. 😛

In The Chronicles, the focus was on the “other world” called Narnia. It was about the characters Lucy and company’s adventures in Narnia. Yes, in Narnia.

The Onion Girl, on the other hand, featured not just the “other world” but includes the “crossing”. You could see the characters talk about it, describe the nature of their crossing — be it via dreams or simply closing one’s eyes. The addition of the “crossing” had in effect, stimulated the philosophical zest that was inherent in such surrealistic works of fiction.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t save me from this turtle-pace reading. Not at all.



Let’s recognise where we’re never going to succeed and stop trying.

– Richard Templar-

Page 105. That’s a cited no-bs tip from the rule-demystifier himself, Richard Templar. This statement belonged to a section entitled: Rule to Break: Always seek to improve yourself.

This section corresponds to Rule 52, which urges readers to “Accept [your] shortcomings”.

I was never big at self-help books. This is partly because I’m a huge fiction-addict. Another reason is because I enjoy making my own ‘rules’. I don’t exactly call them that. They could be principles, motto, views, or self-theory. The fact is, I’m used to thinking over other’s views, checking them for myself. When I find that I believe some scrap of advice or rule, I do it, apply it. It’s when I don’t believe or felt unconvinced about such rule that things get interesting.

I mull over it. It’s more than a preference, I guess because I got used to doing it. Or I just don’t like thinking “lazy”, sticking to stereotypes, or letting my views go anesthetized.

So what made me read Templar’s book?

First, we were in an airport bookstore. Changi Airport to be exact. Everything looked beautiful, so crisp, the leaves in the shelf were just so vibrant. Long story short: purchasing was just inevitable. Of course, seeing what genre it was, I had to scan the pages. I wanted to make sure that it was really something that I could read ’til the last page. There were anecdotes (relatable: check), and humor (huzzah!), and then the price (pocket-friendly). 😀

Then the actual reading. Reading fiction and non-fiction is different. With fiction, I felt like I had an obligation to read pages per day. With this one, I felt like I had to mull over some details. Reading The Rules to Break was like having a conversation: someone narrates a story — about how a “rule” came to be, how it is applied in everyday contexts — then, this someone dissects it to see through the meaning, see through the crazy details, and sometimes, to laugh at it.

It’s not a boring conversation , I’m telling you. The writer’s voice is quite strong but not loud that it shuts your own comments.

I’m not done reading it. My beautiful-chaos of a schedule makes me forget. (excuses?)

Yet, knowing that an unfinished conversation is waiting for me — this re-unites us.




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