I was very curious growing up. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to be part of good conversations with great minds, so I started reading. When I was seven, I tore pages from my notebook to write a storybook. I had several of them. My imaginations were so wild.
In primary school I had Enid Blyton’s collection and I read all the LadyBird books in the school library. Newspapers were my next best thing when I entered junior school. I sat down with my teachers to talk about the brown pages and tell my friends what I read whether it made sense or not.
My reading pattern became interesting when I entered senior school. I didn’t want to be confined to reading all the Shakespeare books and recommended literature so I decided to try several fictions. I started with romance. I remember the first one I read then BETWEEN THE CEOS SHEETS by Charlene Sands. I explored different authors from Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky, Nora Roberts and many others.
I had tests and exams for 8am but I stayed up reading novels till 4am. I went ahead with crime, mystery and suspense. I was in love with Sidney Sheldon. I read all the books he wrote in his lifetime, moved over to Mary Higgins Clark and Agatha Cristie. I was described as an avid reader by my friends and teachers. I read encyclopedias, travel books on the best holiday destinations, art, science, cookbooks, etc. I wrote a novel before I graduated but it got missing. I started another one almost immediately which is still in my drafts. . I had this inner peace when I read. I could stay indoors for days without coming out. I always had a book with me during sports, assembly, dinning, etc. It was almost a distraction. I couldn’t care less what was happening around me. It became an obsession.
My friends gave me books for my birthday present and exchange of gifts. When I entered Uni, school work was taking a lot of my time. I gradually stopped reading but I kept buying books. I had a whole shelf in my room filled with new books I never got the time to read. In 2015 I tried resurrecting my reading culture. Back then I could read 2 books in a day but I was struggling with a few chapters after a month. I started giving some of my books away. I completely stopped reading novels. I became more interested in religion, self development, motivational books and economic news.
Social media wasn’t helping either because it was kind of shaping how I reasoned when I could actually learn so much more from a more experienced perspective.
I tried carrying some of my books when I was leaving Nigeria but it was more like extra luggage. I feel bad that I no longer have that passion. I still have the habit of buying books.
On Monday I got three crime novels to keep me company this lockdown period from my faves. I’ve started and I hope to finish them really soon. I’m excited about this.