Recently I interviewed some of our guests from Indonesia. Their names were Ama and Sabrina, quite lovely names. The topic that we agreed most on was books, as opposed to my favourite subject which happens to be sports; this, however is not their forte. The most prevalent thing we both agreed on was that we don’t read as much as we used to. Shockingly, a lot of titles listed from both parties were identical: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and ‘The Girl on the Train’ – books that made the whole class nod with approval. Of course we all were a little shocked at the resemblance to our reading habits. Why should the book that lay dormant on our coffee tables go to waste? People from all over the world can appreciate great literature.
Nevertheless, Sabrina and Ama did read vigorously, they said that they both adored science fiction and fantasy. Whilst some other genres were mentioned (Roman history, thrillers and poems) they were not nearly as popular as the former. The love for books burned brightly in Sabrina from a young age, because whilst only little, she was sent out of a library for reading too much. And when she wasn’t getting kicked out of libraries, she was borrowing English books from her neighbours, who were a lovely Scottish and Australian couple.
Reading is still a big part of their daily life. One reason that they are thankful that they were avid readers is that they were accepted into a good school because of their ability to read at a high standard. In Ama’s case it saved her from going to a second tier school. However, recently they never can find the time to read. Homework and a long school day leave them scrambling for sleep and relaxation. Luckily, their school has a mandatory 15 minutes reading time before school.
I think that the phenomenal English capabilities of our guests are directly linked to their devotion and passion to read.
Callum Ferrer (Y11)