Being alone with a good book is one of my hobbies. Reading, for me, is like going on an exciting journey. It begins with the tingling anticipation of what is contained between the bound pages. I whet my appetite by reading the preface, and that opens my imaginations to the various emotions that I could go through: joy, sadness, anger, arousal, denial, e.t.c.
Next, I give a brief thought to the best position to adopt. I usually begin with “The sideways stunner” this would allow for a smooth start before all the juices start flowing. I get immersed in the book and commence the journey. Most times the journey goes on smoothly without any interruptions other than the regular stopping to fuel, answer nature’s call and the rest. Depending on the volume, I finally arrive at my destination the day I start reading, or the next. I look around me and realise the world is still as it was; nothing has changed. Everyone is oblivious to the mind shattering encounter I just had in the hands of a book.
I grew up to love reading because everyone in my house read. I can’t really recall when I started reading, but I do know that my parents bought my siblings and I a lot of story books. In fact, the reward for good behaviour was most times a story book. I grew up reading books like, “Only bread for Eze”, “No supper for Eze”, “The Emperor’s new clothes”, “Ali Baba and the forty thieves” “Aladdin and his wonderful lamp”, “Lady Bird Books”.
My parents always encouraged us to read, except when the reading was interrupting other activities and the book got seized. Even in such situations, I still made out time to read by hiding in the bathroom By the time I was in primary 1 I had read all the English Readers from book 2-6, the Agbo and Edet stories.
My elder sister introduced me to Mills&Boons while I was still in primary school and I devoured them. I read books like “An African Night Entertainment”, “The passport of Mallam Ilia” “Burning Grass”, “Things Fall Apart”, “The African Child”, “The Bottled Leopard”, “King Solomon’s Mines”, “Time changes yesterday”, Pacesetters, Hadley Chase, Danielle Steele, John Grisham, and many other books whose authors might not be well known.
My love for reading was limited to novels. I hardly read magazines – although I loved Reader’s Digest, Newspaper sand biographies. Woke Soyinka’s Ake and Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle were exceptions.
I couldn’t read all types of novels though; I recall trying to read “She-who-must-be-obeyed” by Sir. H. Rider Haggard and I gave up on the way; maybe I was too young to understand it. (making a mental note to try reading it again) My brother, on the other hand, was and is still an all-round reader when he finds the time.
I kept up my reading till I got busy with the hustle and bustle of life and became an occasional reader as I moved down to like 3 books a year from like 20 or 25 books. Last year, I joined a book club on Twitter @theReadClub and it made me realise that I still love reading, and I can still have a healthy romance with my authors.
I get this desperate urge to talk to a stranger if they are holding a book. I just feel that the conversation would definitely flow and that influenced a lot of friendships I developed. For instance, in secondary school, I had a friend who always had a steady supply of books. It turned out that her dad was an English Professor, and they had a library filled with books which she never failed to share with me.
After reading, I usually pass the book to my siblings and friends. In recent times I share the link or send a soft copy because I know they love reading also. Together, we’d verbally rewrite the story.
There’s an ineffable feeling I get when I am about to open a book, an article or anything I feel would be pleasurable to read; the title and preface are usually the attracting factors that build anticipation of what is to come. The joy I get from eating is palpable. Books have a pleasant aroma; it is one of the reasons why I prefer a hard copy to a soft copy any day.
I read really fast but my pace is dependent on a few factors, if I have to return a book really soon then I would stay up all night reading; but if it’s the only book I presume I would have access to for a few days, then I’ll go ahead and savour it.
Reading is beneficial to all be it for educational or pleasurable purpose provided it makes a positive impact on your life, so if you don’t read I hope this post awakens that desire in you. If you have little kids around you, instil the love of reading in them.
“There are many ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all”-Jacqueline Kennedys
Well I could write a thousand pages about what reading does to me, but I would like to stop here and let the audience weigh in on this beautiful topic.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies…The man who never reads lives one.”-George R.R. Martin.
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