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ABG: What’s Your Book Reading Plan For 2016? Here Are a Few Tips to Guide You



dreamstime_l_28835478Whenever you read a good book,
Somewhere in the world
A door opens to allow in more light
~ Vera Nazarain

Perhaps you are an avid reader that does everything with a book in hand, or you want to start reading books this year (as that is one of your resolutions this year), this is a great place to start.

Hopefully, by now, the books you ordered at the start of the year should have arrived. But slow down, before you open the packages and start devouring the new books, you might want to take a quick look at last year to see which of last year’s reads were good, bad or ugly. So you know which to embrace with open hands and which you may need more discipline to finish (of course everything is subjective as two people can have very different opinions on the same book).

What books did you read last year? Which was your best, and why? Which you enjoyed the least, and why? Which did you start but did not finish? Which did you read more than once? How many books did you read last year?

The book I enjoyed the most had to be The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu. I learned a few things about Zimbabwe, and the humorous tone of the narrator was great, the storyline was also funny. The book I enjoyed the least was Spider King’s Daughter, by Chibundu Onuzo. While I appreciated the criticism of the Nigerian society – especially the gap between the rich and poor, it does require you to suspend your disbelief for quite a long while, as the some of the happenings in the book were not realistic to me.
Were you able to catch some books were published last year – This House is Not for Sale by E. C. Osondu, Tram 83 by Foston Mwanza Mujila, The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma or Internationally – A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson or Grey by EL James?

What’s your point of reading?
This is the first thing you should decide. Are you reading to know more about a certain topic/people/time? Or are you reading to challenge yourself, or do you plan to read for the social benefits?

Get your theme right!
A theme is a great way to organise your reading, especially for new readers as it guides you on what to read. If you plan to read for the social benefits, you could join a bookclub or enter a reading challenge as this way, you get to chat with your fellow readers about the book. Also reading books that are published in 2015 such as Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett will arm you with ensure you have something to contribute when conversations revolving around books come up, or the theme or lessons you derive from such books could be great things to discuss.

This was my list of ordered books last year. Yes, last year I really wanted to up my game on books by African authors. And after reading the comments on this article – Top 10 books every Nigerian should have read {Click here if you missed it} I realised I still had a long way to go with African authors. So my theme this year remains African authors.

If you haven’t settled on a theme yet, you could try travel! Spin the globe and wherever your finger lands on. Read a book from an author from that country, or travel in time –  read books from different periods of history. Ever read one of those books and then stopped to imagine what your life would have been like in the Victorian times? Or if you were a teenager attending Sweet Valley High?‎
You could start with the Classics this year. You know the ones everyone seem to have read but you. Maybe some of us just need to concentrate of that pile of books that we promised we would read before buying anything new.

Purpose and theme settled?

Now some resolutions to guide you through the reading.

Yes, we are still in the resolution season. Have you made any book/reading resolutions this year? This year, if your purpose is to read a book, any book at all, even if it’s a children’s book, you could promise yourself to finish every book you start – even if it feels like you already know the end. Or read a few pages a day.

If your purpose of reading was to build your vocabulary, you can resolve to find out the meaning of the new words you come across in books, (even though most times your guess is usually right).

If your purpose was to get into a new world, perhaps your theme was politics, read books set in political eras. Are you tired of looking lost when people discuss sports? Delve into the world of sports by reading books woven around sports like hockey or cricket (you never know when the knowledge could come in handy!)

After reading quite a few books, you may want to try out your writing skills, this could be the year you write your first draft.

While I resolved to read at least a book each month in order to increase the number of books I read, school work did not let that happen exactly, but it was still a great guideline.

Whatever reason you have to read this year, I hope you decide on an interesting theme and a good practical resolution to see you through.

If after getting a getting these and you still find it difficult to follow through, you could watch the film adaptation of books like Wole Soyinka’s Ake: The Years of Childhood, or Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun – although most people will tell you, movies rarely do the books justice.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

African Bad Girl is an avid book lover and Pan-Africanist, who is passionate about the economic, political and mental freedom of Africa. Currently working on her master’s degree, she also awaits the technology that would translates your thoughts into words on a computer screen. (and auto sieve out the rude thoughts!)


  1. Madame

    January 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Nice tips! Last year was my year of “first draft”. This year is my year of ” do it again” haha. I read the most (post college) last year. It was great! I struggled with “The Fishermen” a lot. The style I supposed just did not connect with me. Nonetheless, I’m glad I read it. One of the best books I read last year was “The Alchemist”. I loved all the existential connotations. It really makes you evaluate and reaffirm your beliefs and how they affect your interactions with the world. The other favorite is “Happiness like water”. Aunty Chinelo, I dey wait for your full length novel. Such a beautiful dissection of matters as it relates to Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, in short story format..

  2. Asake

    January 28, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    I started about 4 books last year without finishing ( Ghana Must Go, What you are really meant to do, There was a country and Good morning Mr Mandela).. My favorite read from last year is definitely Sefi Atta’s Everything Good will come.

    I discovered my reading theme about 2 years ago – African stories; I struggle with motivational/self help books/biography but i will challenge myself to finish the ones in my bookshelf

    Since i am experiencing laziness and blogger’s block- I have decided to turn to photography and reading this year – Yes, I am on my second book – just finished reading the fishermen and now reading a book I bought in Nov 2013…..

    Reading makes me travel without leaving where i am.

  3. Nicole Kim The Blogger

    January 28, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    African Bad Girl you did this share justice certainly made we want to rethink how I approach my reading this year. I to have decided that reading one book a month is my goal and now more than ever I am determined to follow it thorough. I am so glad I found this wonderful site and hope you will check out Abornewords too.

  4. Funmi

    January 28, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Like you I started exploring African authors last year and feel in love with those I discovered. I generally don’t stick to any one genre because that’s the easiest way to get bored for me so I find mixing it up works better. I find my selections based on personal interests but also from suggestions from friends, NY times best seller lists et al, and my trusted librarian. I started the year with the Humans of New York stories then moved into my current read which is more serious.
    My problem isn’t finishing since I love reading (thank you mama for forcing me to read which turned into me becoming a lifelong reader), it’s finding the next book to immerse myself with. Still slowing making my way through the suggestions in the comment section of the 10 books every Nigerian should read posted a few months back but some are hard to find since I don’t live back home and amazon isn’t too helpful with the titles.

    Currently reading: Those Who Love Night by Wessel Ebersohn

    • Funmi

      January 30, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      I ll suggest u search ebay instead of amazon. I was able to find some “hard to find” books there although they were pre-owned but in very good condition. Its also more economical and protecting d environment.

  5. Tincan

    January 28, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Ahhhh, ABG, you sent me into a nostalgic frenzy last year with your post on 10 books. Thas how I went to order every African book I could find on Amazon. Alas, the combination of work and young kids whipped me right out of that dreamy haze. I am still on chapter one of The Concubine?

  6. Drknite

    January 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Any suggestion on Nigerian erotica novels?

    • omonani

      January 28, 2016 at 11:11 pm

      Songs of Solomon
      Check out the other 65 books too 😉 #ijustdeyyabo

    • TA

      January 29, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      @ Drknite, go to the brittle paper blog.

  7. Aisha

    January 28, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    I am currently dedicating my time this year to reading about the brain (neuro science) as well as how the conscious and sub conscious shape who we are.

    • Honeycrown

      January 29, 2016 at 2:47 am

      That’s a good one @Aisha. I’ve always been interested in that but I only limit myself to documentaries. It will be nice if I can actually pick up a book.

  8. Honeycrown

    January 29, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hmmm….for at least 2 years now, I’ve been planning to do some reading but unfortunately, I never follow up. My friend and I even said we’ll start or join a book club to make us accountable but we never did. I’ve read 3 books from the list you provided via the link and I think I’ll start by reading one of them again. Can anyone recommend a good reading club online?
    Your article motivated me, thank you!

    • TA

      January 29, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      From my experience book clubs might not help you if you are not reading already. Start with reading short stories/flash fiction. Very plentiful on the internet.

  9. Ozyy

    January 29, 2016 at 8:40 am

    Reading is amazing. It sharpens the mind. May I suggest Americanah by Chimamanda, Fine Boys by Eghosa Imaseun and Daughters who walk this path by Yejide Kilanko. I just read them all. And I am reading Fine Boys again…. if you are in Abuja, go to Salamander in wuse 2, there are nice books there.

  10. Lateh F

    January 29, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Sometimes people forget that fiction is not obligated to reflect any society or people or person… It’s fictional … Imaginative. You don’t have to “relate” to it, it does not have to be realistic.

  11. marves

    January 29, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    This January alone I have completed four books. “cash flow quadrant” and “business of the 21st century” ,”why A students work for C students and B students work for the government” and “think Big and Kick Ass” Donald trump. The last two I listened to. Yes listened . who says “reading” nowadays is limited to visual when the bulk OS today’s media is audio-visual? No time.

  12. Blueberry

    January 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    My fellow BN commenters, always so resourceful. :).
    Y´all just gave me a list of books I am going to purchase. Thanks loves.

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