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Why You Should Read BTS Jungkook’s ~Recommended~ Book, 'I Decided To Live As Me'

It's filled with comforting words you need to hear.
PHOTO: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Twitter/BTS_twt, Instagram/apopbooks
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One day in my life as an ARMY, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed like I usually do when an ad from a publishing company suddenly appeared. The ad was promoting a book and mentioned the name of my favorite K-pop group in the caption and you know what that means: I see BTS, I click. A few days later, a package arrived at my doorstep.

What is this Korean book?

Titled I Decided To Live As Me, this English version of the 2016 self-help book is penned and illustrated by Kim Soo Hyun (not the actor!), and has already sold over 1 million copies around the world. What made it extra popular was when BTS’ maknae (youngest) was spotted with the exact book on a trip abroad, as seen on Bon Voyage Season 3

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What is the book I Decided To Live As Me all about?

In life, we can’t always be assured to have someone to lean on to. Sure, there will always be a handful of relationships that have already stood the test of time but truth be told, we only have ourselves to count on during the darkest days. This realization unfolds when you start ~adulting~ and you discover the bits and pieces of yourself that are not all desirable. Kim Soo Hyun tells in I Decided To Live As Me that “Without imitating or envying someone else’s life, this book talks about how we can recognize and love who we are.”

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Why you should read I Decided To Live As Me

This is my first time reading a self-help book and if I’m going to be *very honest*, I was overwhelmed by the first few pages. I have read articles on magazines and websites about positivity and acceptance in the past, but I was taken aback by how blunt and straightforward this book was. I was reading it on a Saturday morning and I stopped after 10-15 pages. But I convinced myself that maybe it’s just me adjusting to this kind of ~*tone*~, so I continued reading the next day. And yup, I made a good decision.

While the initial pages may come off a bit too serious, the next ones are peppered with funny anecdotes here and there. I like that the author would often inject random stories about her life that made me feel like I was her friend who was listening to her talk about her day. And it was not just a tell-all of her existence as an adult, it also targeted other relevant topics without walking away from its theme of helping the reader. Discussions on poverty, wealth, and politics were emphasized, and these reminded me to think bigger.

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I Decided To Live As Me also has tidbits about the Korean culture and if you’re a ~*Korean everything*~ enthusiast like me, you will enjoy learning about them here. Some topics are actually relatable from what I currently read on the news, so for someone who dreams of settling down in the Land Of The Morning Calm, I was able to paint a clearer picture of what life is like there.

Reading this also reminded me that we all go through the same shit but just in different forms. At the same time, we all want to live better—sp this makes the book just right with our situation. 

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For its visuals, I think this is by far the prettiest book I have ever seen. The cover pa lang is captivating. And the pages? I can’t even describe the joy when I touched the high-quality paper and fine print because ang linis niyang hawakan. I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff, lol. Also, if you love smelling books like me, the scent of this one has a faint book smell mixed with a whiff of magazine pages (bookworms: IYKYK!) For the illustrations, you will love how minimalistic they are and it stays consistent with the entire concept of the book.

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The new year is just around the corner and I recommend I Decided To Live As Me to anyone who wants to start anew and develop a better understanding of themselves. It’s a pretty good guide if you’re starting your journey as an adult or even if you’re already halfway there. It’s a great read while you’re inside a cafe (don’t forget the safety protocols!) and you’re up for some serious life planning for 2021 with your earphones on. The most remarkable quote from I Decided To Live As Me would be: “Let’s break free from the idea we have of ourselves and try to become something we can’t anticipate.” Take risks, do something out of your ordinary—this book will be by your side to give you that push just in case you need it. 

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