I was surprised when Herbert’s package finally arrived a few days ago. I told him last week that it would probably take a month before the books would be delivered knowing how our public postal office takes to heart what ‘snail mail’ really means. Herbert assured me that it would arrive sooner than I thought, considering that his shipment to Atlanta only took three weeks. I consoled myself that at the very least, it would come with a good ol’ postage stamp, which is something that FedEx could never replicate.
The brown Manila envelope was suspiciously mangled but nonetheless, the books were in good condition. Perhaps the titles were not interesting enough to be stolen. What the petty thieves failed to realize is that these are great books on mountaineering, which are quite rare to find in this part of the world: Messner’s Free Spirit, Tabor’s Forever on the Mountain and Boukreev’s The Climb.
Herbert must have spent a lot of time at Booksale branches in Cebu just to find all these. But finding one good book in this bookstore would involve some stroke of luck and tons of patience. He was then quite kind to allow me to borrow his precious finds. I remember that he also lent me his copy of Into Thin Air as a mental preparation of some sort in climbing Mt. Apo. Krakauer’s account of the 1996 Everest tragedy, placed in me a reverence for the mountains and a better perspective in climbing one.
I am quite excited to read these new books, especially The Climb which is Boukreev’s rebuttal to Krakauer’s account. However all these would also join an already long queue of titles that I have yet to read.
The irony of it all is that long before I decided to share my small travels and silly adventures, my first ever blog entry was actually about a book. Back then I was worried of coming up with just two paragraphs. So to fool everyone that it was a lengthy write-up, I placed Puddleglum’s reply which then occupied almost two-thirds of blog space.
In one way or the other, Herbert’s package reminded me of some of the things that I also enjoy doing – books, the outdoors among many others. I could only wish then that in the next few months, I would also be able to share some book reviews in this blog. But for the meantime, I must finish what I am currently reading, before I could finally dig into my new books.