Unanswered key questions in ‘Olalla’ that make me feeling unsatisfied


‘Olalla’ reminds me on the moments when I enjoy reading books about Gothic literature, the sort of mysterious tale that keeps me going until the last page of the story. Reading ‘Olalla’ brings so much fun in a way it successfully makes me curious about Felipe, Olalla and their mother. And oh the language by Robert Louis Stevenson in this short story is really, really damn good.

The challenge in reading this type of story is that there are a few or even a lot of clues that are hidden behind self-narration and dreams. In this short story, the narrator’s dream about Olalla gives very important foreshadowing on what is going on with her. Though different forms, the narrator’s dream later becomes true; that he has to go despite the fact they love each other.

Another hard task grasping the essence of the story is visualizing the gestures and appearances of the characters, especially the senora and Felipe. Although the senora is beautiful and elegant, I can tell by the narrator’s depictions that she has the royal blood. I just know it.

The strangest trait in the story I think is Felipe. In spite of his niceties, he is a weirdo as shown when he plays with a maggot. He enjoys torturing the animal. He acts like a child sometimes. This is so ironical knowing that he is the descendant of the royal family. So odd.

While those make the short story very rich and requires me to fully concentrate in digesting it, I hate to say this but I am a bit disappointed. Some key questions remain unresolved. I feel some things are left out.

For instance, what makes the senora act like a beast? How does the former influential family go from riches to rags, figuratively? Is there a thing called supra natural powers here?  What is the connection between losing respect from the society and becoming cruel person, like the senora? And then.. Is there a sort of curse that haunts the family for generations that make Olalla has no choice other than staying in the residencia then die?

There are missing links between losing power and opting becoming like a monster. Or I don’t know. May be I don’t understand the story well. All I know is that the narrator gets the whole story from the villager, which I feel it insufficient still. If not something is missing, I guess something is excluded. I feel the story is a little bit incomplete.

Just my humble thoughts though.

Thank you for providing the picture.



Setting A Very Ambitious Reading Goal This Year


I’d love to break one of my bad habits more seriously this year. It’s called multitasking that happens in almost all aspects in my life, reading is no exception. This has been ongoing for a few years, the last two years have been very intensive after I bought a smartphone. I have spent countless hours looking at the gadget surfing on the internet even during daily commute. Prior to that, I chose reading novels.

I hate to acknowledge this but it has been such a whirlwind how owning the smartphone has changed the way I have lived since 2015. Double-edged sword, people say. On one side, I feel happy that I have friends everywhere I go because I can chat with them via WhatsApp or LINE. I can just click links leading to the online articles that I love most.

But on the other hand, this habit has drained my energy. This has caused me spending more time reading articles on themes that I have actually known well; happiness, relationship, self-development, self-confidence, and the like. These are the types of writings that soothe my emotions whenever I am at the low points in my life. I have been actually enjoying how different writers use different approaches when dealing with the themes. That’s it all. In terms of substance, each and every writer speaks almost the same idea.

Without reducing my thanks to these authors, I wish I can lessen the amount of time reading their words this year then getting back on physical books. I need to return to the place where I belong, which is classic novels and if possible, reaching books from different era. I need reading books that enrich me with imaginary people, places that can bring me a lot of lessons of life or may be for mere entertainment.

I think it is enough to feed my mind with psychological readings, which I also call this as a ‘practice period’. Now, it is time to get more ‘exercises’ by enjoying novels. This is harder than completing books I am not actually into.

Because breaking bad habits requires me to be consistent and keep fighting against feeling uncomfortable. Opposing the call to read online articles or check out my social media accounts is very challenging. It’s like choosing to step away from a cheerful crowd then stick to your me-time when you know you need the latter most.

But I have to do this for the sake of my brain. I have to do this if I wish I can write a book one day. I have to do this to keep expanding my reading knowledge. I have to do this because I admit I got very little from reading physical books last year. So little and it has to be better this time around.

Wish me luck guys!

Thanks for providing the picture.

Five benefits of reading long novels you probably don’t notice


I prefer reading thick books to short stories. As long as the books are good, the longer they are the better. As such, I have to carefully select which books I am going to read. The process can be as tricky and nonsense as in this post.

But if I get good, even great books, I can’t tell you how merry my heart will be. The romance between I and the books are on. The joy of reading fantastic books is having a lot of time to enjoy, learn, and simply be in the books. I can understand each and every character, even relate their traits with mine. Not only that. The plots, the conflicts face me with new viewpoints, different perspectives.

After a number of years opting to read long books instead of short stories, I get surprised by how much the preference help me becoming a more grounded person. This can be broken into these points:

  1. Becoming more understandable

The more I read diverse characters, some are even so ugly, the more I shield away from judging persons, be they good or bad. I learn not all coarse people are completely bad. Their past experiences, family issues contribute much to what they are in the books. Not all protagonists are angels, too. They make stupid mistakes. They can be stubborn, hurt the ones they love with or without their intentions. Reading long novels provide me with so much chances to learn each character as simply human being who are meant to make mistakes then learn from them. And oh I pity very cruel character, like Heathcliff. Those who are very hard at hearts are usually the ones who need love at the most.

2. Becoming more patient

I have found this benefit lately; patience. When I have good books at the palm of my hands, I completely get into them that I don’t realize how time flies by so fast. I don’t pay any attention that I have to be very patient to digest that 300 or even 600 pages long. All I care is reading page per page, enjoying what the author say in it. I am not very sure that my patience, some friends of mine say that I am a patient person, is partly because of this habit. I can’t judge myself. I let others say so.

3. Becoming more skilled to enjoy stillness

Again, I am not very certain that reading long books contribute much to my skills in dealing with solitude. That’s may be true since reading makes me just facing hundreds of papers. I make good friends with the dead objects. I learn the art of becoming my own company. Each time I find vacant moments, just grab books or read online articles.

4. Becoming okay in what others may perceive as ‘boring’ activity

Like point number 2, I have recently come across someone’s opinion who said reading is boring. Well, I can’t deny that opinion. On the surface, readers face hundreds of pages containing words, words and more words. It’s amazing to think that beyond the books, whatever the titles are, unbelievable trips await readers. We are transported into unknown worlds at different times and spaces. We have our own trips at the back of our minds. Others may say that’s boring but for us, what we feel each time we glue at our novels is full of adventures.

5. Becoming much more imaginative

I never believed I was a creative person until I read a lot. Reading opens up my mind like I never thought it could be. Enjoying books written in foreign language challenges me even much harder but it is so worth it for my brain does exercises at its best. My mind works hard picturing what these characters look like in real lives. When you are provided with descriptions you will automatically try to picture them in your minds; rounded-face, blue big eyes, curly hair, etc.

Talking about scenery, social life as the backgrounds of the books is advanced thing. I can’t believe there are so many things that I can learn from just one book, thick or thin. You are free to imagine everything. Your imaginations can be as wild as you want them to be. Again, reading is a mind adventure, and isn’t that more than enough to say readers have so much fun doing this hobby?

The picture is taken from this. Thanks for providing it.




Some tips on how to find reading time amid busy life

In times where smartphones and computer tablets are very popular, I think having a deep reading time is becoming quite rare. Not to mention so many work that awaits us in the office or homework for students. Here, I’d like to share few ways on how to keep in touch with novels or books although we are very busy.

1)    Bring books anywhere you go
I practice this most of the time. In case you are busy even during weekends, try this effort when you want to read. Bring novels in your bag and make use your time effectively. Usually, I read when I wait for bus. When I am already in the bus, I resume reading novels. Not only this helps me to always have time for reading, this also eases my patience during traffic jams. One thing that we must be taken into notice is that we should purchase relatively thin novels so that they won’t be a burden for your bag, unlike me and “The Return of the Native” (see previous post). This effort enables me to finish reading some books and novels despite the fact I actually spend less than one hour every day. That’s quite surprising for me.

2)    Loyal friends during waiting
Waiting can be boring when your friends don’t show up on time because of many reasons. Many people opt to use their smartphones either for chatting or browsing while waiting for their friends, but I choose to shift my attention to books. Waiting can be a perfect time to continue our reading moment.

3)    Before bed activity
I rarely do this tip because I can fall asleep quite fast. I once read articles that reading can be a good way for those who are unable to sleep quickly. And definitely, you can rely on completing reading books at this time.

4)    Turn off TV, leave high tech gadgets for a while
No joking. High tech gadgets are very revolutionary, helpful invention. Think about how we can manage almost everything with some clicks away via smartphones or tablets, iPads, or everything you have. But also, they can be very time consuming. Relying much on them can make our days be unproductive. And I am no exception. Sometimes, I check my BlackBerry just to find out other people’ status or pictures. Such unnecessary activities. I think this kind of activity making us to become lazy in reading conventional books, papers, I mean. So, I try switching off my BlackBerry once in a while then checking it when necessary. That helps me a lot to find convenient time for doing other things unrelated with technology or social media activity. And one of the activities is by reading books or writing.

5)    Weekend enjoyment
I miss this kind of moment at the time being. When I am not busy, I make weekend as the best gateway into the world of books. Sitting in a cozy sofa while reading books all day long. Book lovers know exactly how that make them feel.

I hope those simple tips can boost your spirit to get back in reading books. If you love books, you will always do as your best to find time to read them all, just like when you like someone whom make you feel you have to meet him or her all the time.