Reading used to be the main pleasure of my life, sometimes even the only bright spot in the tunnels I had to go through at different times. However in the last eighteen months, I haven’t read much. I don’t think I’ve read more than a hundred and fifty books in this eighteen months, I know you’d wonder why that seems low to me right? Some people my age haven’t read that many books in their whole lives and I’m even complaining. Well in this period of reading ennui, I’ve been exposed to books I’ve desired and craved to read for a long time. I even downloaded them but intensely struggled to read to read these books. I haven’t been inspired to complete a book in a while and I’m really bothered.
My earliest memories of my mother usually involve her lying on her bed or sitting on the sofa with her legs curled up, reading a novel. As young as I was, I already knew that disturbing mummy when she’s reading a book was a bad idea. Sadly it took me at least sixteen years to convince Ikenna (my youngest brother) that when Adaeze’s nose is between the covers of a book, disturbing her is a horrible idea. That boy has always matched to his own drummer. For my fourth birthday my dad bought a book for me, I have no idea what the title was or what the story was about but I remember it had a girl and an elephant and so I named it elephant book. I can still see some of its pages, I loved that book so dearly. I would look at the pages daily and long to know for myself what the words were saying. Now I realise it had no words but it fired in me a fierce lifelong curiosity about mining the treasures between the covers of books. Later that year my mother bought Queen’s premier book one and two for me, remember them? I loved the pictures in book two and eventually memorised the entire book even though I couldn’t read yet.
When I turned five, my mum bought my book of Bible stories for Obinna and I. We read a story every afternoon, my aunty Ogechi (usually) would read to us, tracing each word as she read. With time I learnt the words and could read by myself but I couldn’t spell anything yet. After reading the book from cover to cover a few times I craved more reading material, that wasn’t a problem because my dad had so many books. Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to read them because I was too young instead I had to read macmillian primary English course books that belonged to Ukachi (she lived with us). By the time I was turning seven I’d finished reading book 1-6 of the series and was itching for more books. Then one day, just after my seventh birthday my father gave me a book with a bright yellow cover. It was a rather slim book with a rather funny title. It’s name was the palm wine drinkard, the author was Amos Tutuola and it was the first novel I ever read.