Another self-confessed celebrity bibliophile joins the National Book Development Board’s (NBDB) Get Caught Reading campaign. TV host/actress/singer Nikki Gil shares her passion for books and reading and the many rewards she gets from being a bookworm, hoping that young Filipinos like her would be encouraged to develop such devotion for reading as well.

Nikki, an English Literature major at the Ateneo de Manila University, grew up in a family where the zeal for reading is inculcated at a young age. ”We were trained to love books at home. Every summer, when kids would be out playing, my mom would be out buying books for us and every summer we have to come up with a book report to make sure that we really read the book. It worked to our advantage because my sister and I grew up loving books.”

Nikki’s extensive book collection at home contains the many books she started collecting since she was in grade school.” You should see my room; the library in my room is separate from the house library! Because I wanna see how many books I’ve read.” Her books range from early childhood favorites like the Newbery Medal books and Sweet Valley, classics like Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and Samuel Beckett’s Endgame, and contemporary bestsellers such as Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera.

“Reading makes you interesting. It makes you articulate. You are able to express what you mean better, and people understand you better if you’re a wide reader. It opens you up to different worlds.” Nikki’s love for reading has honed her writing skills as well. Apart from writing for MYX Magazine, she also wrote the Foreword for the book Young Women on the Journey, a collection of testimonies by young women of their journeys and experiences growing up.

Through the Get Caught Reading campaign, Nikki hopes young Filipinos like her would be made aware of the endless benefits one gets out of reading. ” The appetite for reading is something you’re not born with; you develop it through the years. It’s a practice that you acquire. You can only do it through practice. You can start with reading the newspaper, then work your way up to reading short stories, and then get into the classics.”

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