I have a confession to make: I don’t get to read a lot of books anymore.

I still get to read a LOT of magazines and news stories and feature articles online, but it’s been quite a while since I last read an actual, physical book.

To be honest, I don’t feel too bad about this. I don’t feel bad about myself, too; I don’t think I’m less of a person coz of this. Let me repeat: I still read a LOT.

I think reading books for me was a phase. There was a time in my life when I was so addicted to books, obsessively buying them and reading them. One day, I moved on to magazines. And then one day, I moved on to reading websites and blogs and digital magazines.

I still very much believe that people should read books, especially the young ones. In fact, this is something I promote at home with my daughter Sadako.

I love how National Book Store continues to spread the love for reading with their various activities.

Take, for example, their Read Out Loud Challenge (ROLC). It is pretty simple; just make a video of yourself reading out loud and excerpt from your favorite book, post it on either Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #ReadOutLoudChallenge and tagging @nbsalert, and then challenge three other people to do the same by tagging them.

The good thing (apart from spreading the love for reading) is that for every 75 videos posted, the NBS Foundation will set up a library in an indigent community. It even comes with Project Aklat racks full of DepEd-approved books. Project Aklat, by the way, is another initiative of NBS Foundation started in 2006. They have set up 400 libraries and are aiming to add 100 more nationwide.

What a great idea! It is so simple yet the returns are great. I am definitely taking part; I’d love to be part of such a great cause.

Now all I need to do is go back to our old house and look for my favorite books so I can pick one and then choose my favorite part to read out loud.

I hope they’re still alive. In case they’re not, I’m pretty sure National Book Store still has them. I was at the SM North EDSA branch recently and I saw some of my favorite Jessica Zafra books. I hope they still have my favorite Tony Perez books.

And Ladlad. I’d love to read from Ladlad for my Read Out Loud Challenge entry.

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