At the Brisbane library, there’s a section where you can get books that are the awesomes. I flock mainly to one row, because that’s the only part that affects me. This section - the foreign language one - makes my happiness meter shudder high into the sky.
I have a basic knowledge of Spanish - I can hold up a conversation - and I’m trying to get better, so as to not hold the stigma of ‘the white chica’ in all my family’s conversations. So I frequent this section, hopefully scanning for titles that a) I don’t know the story very well, and b) aren’t Wilbur Smith.
I now have borrowed a copy of El Amor En Los Tiempos Del Cólera - come, Spanish speakers, unite: Love in the Time of Cholera, my favourite of Marquez’s, and my favourite Spanish-speaking author, excluding the ever-so-poetic Neruda. They did a film version of it in 2007 which spawned my love, lying home sick one day watching movies a friend had dropped over. I hunted through my Tata’s shelves, and lo and behold, it existed in Spanish. Then, I had not known any Spanish. Now, I do.
It’s disconcerting opening a book and having it in a foreign language. Your brain takes a moment to adjust, and in my head, I read it aloud, sounding the words. Kind of like a child. Para Mercedes, por supuesto: for Mercedes, of course.
After flipping to the first page in a near panic (honestly, I have forgotten so much, that Leandro Diaz’s quote nearly drove me insane) I’m relieved. It makes sense. And finally, I’ll be able to do it… accomplish book 1 on my list.
Books to include on the reading list?