The Jason Hahn Files: This One Is Dedicated To Those Who Still Read Books

“But what would be the point of reading if you know what happens? It’ll be like finding out what happens at the end of 'Avengers: Endgame' before you watch it!”

“I’ve just finished my book, so I need a suggestion for a new one,” Amanda said the other day at lunch at Crystal Jade.

Twilight!” Saffy said immediately.

Amanda blinked. “I’m not 12!”

“Don’t be an ageist!” Saffy shot back. “It’s got romance, werewolves and vampires. What more do you want from a book?”

“I wouldn’t mind something from Oprah’s Book Club,” Amanda went on, by now completely oblivious to Saffy’s wild riffs on life.

“What about Find Me?” I offered. “Barney Chen said he cried like it was the last episode of Gilmore Girls!”

Amanda sighed. “I’m sorry, but is that another gay pop culture reference I don’t get?”

“I watched one episode of Gilmore Girls and I didn’t get it,” Saffy told her. “But Find Me is the sequel to Call Me By Your Name, and you love that movie.”

“We all loved that movie,” Amanda replied. “I still want to have Armie Hammer’s baby!”

After lunch, she popped over to Kinokuniya to pick up Find Me. “I hope this lives up to the first book,” she told me, “because I loved that one. I wonder if Oliver and Elio get together in the end.”

She began flipping the book to the last few pages, her eyes flicking across the words.

“Uhm, what are you doing?” I asked.

“I’m reading the end to see if they get together,” Amanda murmured. “I wish you’d pay attention when I say something.”

I snatched the book out of her hands. I was astonished. “Wait a second! This is how you read? You read the end first?”

“It’s how I’ve always read. What, don’t tell me you don’t!”

“Of course, I don’t!”

“What, you actually read a book from the beginning all the way to the end?”


“But what if you hate the ending? Then what would be the point of reading the whole thing if you’re going to hate the ending?”

It was if I was in a parallel universe. “But what would be the point of reading if you know what happens? It’ll be like finding out what happens at the end of Avengers: Endgame before you watch it!”

“And what’s wrong with that?”

My jaw dropped. “How am I only now finding out about this perverse aspect of your personality!”

Amanda tossed her luxuriant hair, the light sparkling off her diamond earrings. “I don’t like to waste time!”

As it turns out, Amanda is not the only one who thinks this way.

“Yah, what,” Sharyn said a few days later when the subject came up. “Before I watch a Netflix movie, I read the summary and den I go Google and den I watch the last 10 minute. If no good, I don’t start watching, and I try another movie. Liddat save time, mah! Skali, you watch tree hour of  Lord of the Ring and you dohn like, den how? You lose tree hour, you know!”

“You are so weird,” Saffy told her. “I’m with Jason on this one. It’s why I never read spoilers. This one time, Darren posted a spoiler on Instagram about Avengers: Infinity War? I unfollowed him for three months! And the only reason I followed him again was because I missed seeing his topless posts in my feed. Oh my God, he’s so hot!”

Yesterday brought a WhatsApp blast from Gladys announcing that Maisie the tarot card reader and psychic was coming to Singapore in January.

Amanda clapped her hands. “Oh my God, Maisie! I need to see her!”

Saffy was unimpressed. The last time she went to see Maisie, the cards had predicted she’d be married within the year and there would be three children. To date, Bradley has shown no sign of even popping the question, though Saffy allows that maybe the cards had foreseen the big stomach she has from all that overeating. “I guess you could confuse this with having triplets,” she said, patting her stomach which she’d deliberately puffed out to an abnormally distended size.

“I’m going to ask her when I’m going to die!” Amanda said, a plan Saffy pointed out, did no credit to her expensive Harvard education.

“I mean, why would you ever want to know when you’re going to die?” she asked Sharyn.

“Haiyah, if she know she die tomorrow, then confirm she won’t diet today mah! Tonight eat lobster and abalone! I think she very smart.”

“So, what, you’re going to ask Maisie when you’re dying?”

Sharyn blushed. “Doh wan. I scared!”

You can imagine Amanda’s disappointment when Gladys said Maisie doesn’t predict date of deaths. “Well, that’s just ridiculous! What’s the point of seeing her then?”

“I’m guessing you’ll be having salad tonight, then?” Saffy asked.






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