At a book fair, at an imported book distributor both of two young men – I think they are college students – looking at books on sale at very cheap prices. “Why all of books are written in English?” Said one of them in a disappointed tone. Both of them go away immediately. Unfortunately, I thought. They should be used to reading English books?
During studying in a college, I also did not think that I should read English books except the books required in the lectures. Why bother, just read the translation, I thought. I feel the stock of English knowledge that I got in high school is adequate. If I can talk in English a little, read and write a little, it’s enough. After all, I do not live in a country where the main language is English. About English lecture books; I do not need to read them all. Just the important sections and write the explanation of lecturers in class. It’s easy, right?
Then, one day I saw my college friends enjoyed reading an English novel with hundreds of pages. I thought it’s natural because he is the son of an ambassador and had lived many years abroad. But my little heart protested. “If he can, why do not me?.” Both of us studied in the same department at the same university, which means our ability in English is same, I thought. One day, my friend lent me one of his novel collections. The title is The Family Album by Danielle Steele.
Apparently, it’s not easy to read the novel. Just reading to a few pages, I’ve been confused. Many new words I found that time. As a result I was forced to open the dictionary many times. Read the novel a bit, and then open the dictionary. So over and over again. As a result I became tired. Finally I decided to continue reading without the aid of a dictionary. Just read it first, understand it or not, it’s not a matter. New words that often appear or attract my attention, I just mark it first. After reading a chapter, I concluded the story. And the words I marked, I looked up in the dictionary. Apparently, this way is effective and made it easy for me to read and understand. Gradually reading English novels became a habit. And after a long time getting used to pop novels, I started reading literary works from famous authors, as well as nonfiction books.
Finding English books is not difficult. The easiest way is to borrow it in the library. Because I love to collect books, then I try to buy. But with the current dollar rate, foreign book prices are expensive. Therefore I prefer to buy a old book. If we are wise to choose, good book with cheap price we can get. Or buy it when there is a large-scale book fair. There are certain publishers who often give big discounts.
Reading English books turned out to bring very positive benefits. In addition to the growing insight, the ability to understand the language also increases. Over time, I was able to translate English texts into Indonesian. I began to plunge into the world of translation. Become a freelance translator. Eventually I was able to translate Indonesian texts into English. Do not stop there, I finally able to write in English. My first short story in the mass media is a short story in English. The story was published in an English-language news paper a few years ago. Although my words edited by the editor, I am very grateful because after all, the publishing of the short story has proved that the passion of reading an English book is not in vain, even yielding very positive results.
Hopefully my experience can provide insight and motivation for all readers.