Trisha's Bookworm Brigade

I told myself that once I was free from the confines of my college textbooks and lengthy articles that I would make more time from reading. It's one of those things that makes you feel like a kid, getting all wrapped up in stories and flipping wildly through pages, opting for getting car sick over putting a book down. I always used to swallow books up, but in the time since I graduated from school, when I should supposedly have plenty of time, I've read precisely 1.5 books. womp. womp.

I read A Thousand Splendid Suns in a few days and was heartbroken when it was over. Partially because it's just a heart-wrenching tale, but also because I wanted more. Now I'm onto To Kill a Mockingbird - a book that so many people have told me I have to read. I first bought it back in high school, when I was with my three friends in Barnes and Noble, but never got the chance to finish it.

As I'm reading it now, I'm so invested in the characters and their world. Who is Boo Radley? Is he putting those toys in the tree? Is Atticus going to win the case? I find myself, like a kid again, huddling in bed under the warm glow of the light, my eyes scanning the pages quickly, consuming the words of Harper Lee.

It was my friend, Trisha, who told me that To Kill a Mockingbird is one of her favorite books. She reads it every year. Along with a ton of other books (I should learn a thing or two from her). She says it just keeps getting better and better each time.

Reading is such a pleasure and a way to both escape the world and inform the one that we live every day. And it's a pleasure that I take for granted.

I talked with Trisha for the first time in months, we got to catch up on our lives. She's currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Malaysia and having an amazing time. She let one of her students borrow her copy of Harry Potter and had become entirely engulfed in the story, asking for more. But her school doesn't have much of an English library and the nearest book shops with English material are hours away with limited selections. So Trisha set a goal of bringing books to her students, to give them an incentive to read and also to give them confirmation that others want to support their education.

Siti Nadiy, image from Trisha Huynh
Afiq, image from Trisha Huynh
Trisha's launched her own Indiegogo campaign, The Bookworm Brigade Builds a Library so she could help improve her students' English aptitude while also letting their imaginations soar. Her students don't have access to English books, vocabulary-learning games, and comics that encourage them to improve their language skills, which is where donations to the campaign come in.

The Bookworm Bridage! image from Trisha Huynh
Amazingly, her campaign reached its goal in less than 24 hours. I figure the more donors, the more books and resources, the better! If you want to share the magic of reading, consider donating to The Bookwork Brigade! :) This Indiegogo campaign has reminded me what a privilege it is to read and to escape to another world. I have such a sense of adventure and it's a nice reminder that we can go outdoors for inspiration, but we can also get lost in the pages of a book to give us sparks of creativity and wanderlust.

I'm going to finish To Kill a Mockingbird and take advantage of my public library to get a few other books I've been meaning to read like Never Let Me Go, The Catcher in the Rye, and Le Petite Prince. If you haven't read them, I'd definitely suggest reading Bel Canto or The Interpreter of Maladies, two of my favorite books.

Hope you all think about picking up a book soon or are more motivated to finish one you've been reading. If you want to follow Trisha and her campaign, she has a blog here.