Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Who reads 'em, man?

Warning to myself: Sayesha, don't post this. Computer engineers and others of their brotherhood may kill you for this. (But what the heck, this is my blog and I wanna post exactly what I feel!)

I get surprised looks from people when I confess that I do not read a lot of books. I don't know how to explain it. Could be because of the nature of my job. When you work on books the whole day, you rarely feel like picking one up at home to read.

And probably on some levels, I never outgrew books I read when I was a little girl. And so, books for grown-ups do not really do it for me. Especially, if the books are on things like Java and C++ and XML.

Now don't get me wrong here -- I am a lover of languages, yes. If I had my way, I would learn every language the world has to offer. But not programming languages, please. Every time I see a book with 'C++', or 'Java++' or whatever-else-plus-plus screaming on its cover, I run in the opposite direction. And as I run, I wonder, "Who reads these books, man? Really? Who?" (Shameful behaviour from an ex-engineer, huh?)

So, when preparing to move out, my housemate and I were clearing out old books, and I saw the amazing number of thick books on XML, Java, C++ and what not, housed in cartons, in plastic bags, strewn everywhere, I wondered again, "Really, who on earth reads these books???"

I had just dumped them all in a carton to dispose of them when suddenly my Filipino maid (the same one who almost knocked out my housemate here) exclaimed, "Ber are my books??" She was holding an empty plastic bag.

"Your books??" I asked.

"Yes. Yes. They ber in this plastic bag!"

"Oh dear, I must have dumped them in the carton over there! Which books were these?"

"Two on Jaba. One on Kelkulus." came the reply.

"Java and Calculus?????"

"Yes. Yes."

Speechless, I fished out the three books from the carton, and showed them to her.


"Yes. Yes."

I could not contain myself. Remy reads books on Java and Calculus?????

"Errr... Remy, so you like to read books on Java and Calculus, huh?" I asked, desperately trying to hide my shock and act cool.

"No, these are por my daughter. I got them from the other place I work at."

I don't know if it was right, but I actually felt a sense of relief.

May I say it again -- 'Phew!'


Sahil said...

hahahahha I lurv ur filipino impression!

speaking of languages - if I want to learn one language, it would have to be Arabic.

Anonymous said...

If I have to learn one language, it would be Spanish and Mandarin. THat way I would be able to traverse the earth, and know the lingo of a majority of the people!

Anonymous said...

Close shave !

Anonymous said...

err...Sayesha, I hope by disposing u dont mean throwing them into the dustbin...??

pass them to some1 else, if u dont need them that is,..but pls dont throw book into the dustbin...tt is such a waste of resources...atleast drop them off at NTU next time u go there, for those annual 2nd book sales tt happen.

Sayesha said...

Hi Angelsera,
I usually give old books away to Salvation Army. If you remember where I live, lugging three huge cartons of books across the country to NTU (even by cab) is very bad idea. Very very bad idea :)

Anonymous said...

// If I have to learn one language, it would be Spanish and Mandarin
Maybe start with counting first? :P Just kidding Munna...

Anyway, Sayesha, nobody reads these books... not even the people who buy them. Programming languages, almost always, cannot be taught by books. They're learnt by practice. So you're right... All those thick books I have, they're paper weights... or weighty papers... whatever... :)

White Light said...

ehe, although I am Filipina, I do have to chortle a bit at your very audio impression of the Filipina maid. :P

Anonymous said...

well tt was jus a suggestion against throwing them away. as long as they r gettin donated its fine...

Sahil said...

Nearly all things in life are not learnt in books.

Its our experiences that define how much we know.

virdi said...

coming soon... coming soon... bolti rehti hai, when are you going to put the hands photos? saturday you said, right?? and still no hands ka foto. :-(
london is cool. Trafagar Sqaure and Picadally Circus are awesome looks like i am in 16th century. :) everyone should visit London. Its really nice place.
when are you coming here??

Sayesha said...

Hey Virdi,
Coming soon coming soon! :P

Yeah, I fell in love with London too! I'll probably go there next year on my way to visit my sis in the US. Four of my cousins are in the UK. When I went there two years ago, it snowed and we had a rocking snowball fight! :D

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on the Java books. Who in their right mind reads "Java". Thats like trying to learn Ancient Greek :-)

Anonymous said...

>>When you work on books the whole day, you rarely feel like picking one up at home to read.

Where do you work again? Just to be sure I don't buy any of the books from them.

Sahil said...

Dude. What is your problem (wo)man? If you're trying to be funny, u're doing a lousy job.

Although I think her books would be very suitable for you, they target 6 year olds, so they would match your mental age.

Bhavya said...

Ha ha... you are an ex-engineer, but I am currently employed as a software engineer, and I can totally relate to the sentiment. I guess that means it is high time I made the big switch too!

Jass said...

*hiding the secure coding book behind his back and trying to laugh*

Haha! Whoever reads these books?? I mean who? :rolling eyes: