On a recent work trip to Port Harcourt, after we had dealt with business and I was waiting to be driven to the airport to catch my flight back to Lagos, I remembered I had a novel – Half of A Yellow Sun, in my bag; so I pulled it out, opened the marked page and continued reading. A few minutes later, the logistics guy comes into the office to say we’d be leaving in the next thirty minutes. After relaying the information, he glanced at my book and asked if I knew the movie adaptation was currently showing at the cinemas, to which I replied –yes. I then started thinking about how I needed to finish the book quickly so I could watch the movie. As if reading my mind, he looked at me with this puzzled expression and said, “If the movie is out right now, why are you even bothering to read the book at all”? I went on to explain, that I had started reading the book before the movie came out and that personally I prefer books to their movie adaptations, because the books are usually more descriptive and full fledged since they were the original stories anyway and that generally, I love reading. His response was how I coined the title of this article – “well, I just think reading is for boring people”.
As a certified book lover, I was personally offended, like what? I love books! Reading generally, all kinds of genres, all kinds of styles – paperback, hardback, anything! I love a good story or article and how it can transport you into a completely different realm. I love how you can literally “get lost” in a book. During prep back in secondary school, while my classmates were busy doing their assignments dutifully, I consistently disturbed them with my oohs, aahs, yepas and “it’s a lie” as I got lost in the John Grisham, Jeffery Archer or my favourite, Sidney Sheldon that I was reading at the time. Prep time always suffered and by the end of senior school, I had finished reading all Sidney Sheldon’s fifteen books and many John Grisham’s, Jeffery Archers and Jackie Collins too. And oh, was I the only one that thought Sidney Sheldon was a woman at first?
Books and good stories generally, can be such medicine to the soul. From chick lit (the book version of chick flicks), to crime fiction, to thrillers, to romance, you name it. And while I love movies as well, I have come to realise that books do better justice to a story, simply because a lot of information or content gets lost during the adaptation process. Obviously, the movie can only be so many hours long, it also has to be adapted for a wider type of audience amongst other factors that have to be considered during adaptation. At least this was the case for Dan Brown’s “Davinci Code”, Lauren Weisberg’s “The Devil Wears Prada”, Cecelia Ahern’s “P.S I Love You”, John Green’s “The Fault In Our Stars” and Emily Giffin’s “Something Borrowed”, all nice movies but better books!
According to Kelechi (the logistics guy), to be able to sit down and flip through Four Hundred and something pages, reading the small print word for word and actually going line by line until you finish the book, means you mustn’t have anything better to do. Even as my lower jaw dropped open and I stared at Kelechi, he continued to speak. When he noticed that my voice had risen a decibel higher than what it was originally, he said “ah let me leave you oh, this reading thing is serious for you”. That made me laugh and so we laughed it off and agreed to disagree. But as he walked off, I wondered if his notion is the reason why many people today only have the patience for a tweet – 140 characters and no more!
So if you do enjoy reading, what are some of your favourite books and authors?
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