How My Love For Stories Began

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I was in Primary 5 or 6 when my uncle caught me reading a magazine called Hints. Who remembers Hints? You should have seen the shock on his face when he held my hand like that one time he caught me stealing his baby’s Evans Glucose! There were loads of them under my aunt’s bed…

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I was in Primary 5 or 6 when my uncle caught me reading a magazine called Hints. Who remembers Hints?

You should have seen the shock on his face when he held my hand like that one time he caught me stealing his baby’s Evans Glucose!

There were loads of them under my aunt’s bed and they stoked my budding appetite for stories. My uncle was mortified, but I felt bad – not because he caught me, but because I didn’t see the big deal in what I was doing.

For me, it was all about the stories. I rarely played with other kids so, I’d read to stupor.

After Hints and Hearts magazines, I devoured Ikebe Super too! Chai! By this time, I knew I had to hide them at the sound of any footstep.

Then I graduated to Mills and Boons. All these happened before I got to Senior Secondary School.

When Senior Secondary came, as usual I had to first ask my aunts for their past textbooks and use them to save money. (Back then, a whole generation could use the same textbooks.)

And that was how I found 3 giants of Yoruba literature: Ogbojuode Ninu Igbo Irunmole; Ireke Onibudo; and Won Ro Pe Were Ni!. These books weren’t on our reading list in Senior Secondary School, but who cared about reading lists anyway? I picked them up and finished each overnight (my favourite time to read). Apart from the normal Yoruba classes in school, no one taught me how to read Yoruba literature but I did on my own.

Till this day, no adventure book has beaten any of these in my opinion. The words were hard to put meaning to (I kept wishing they were written in English) but once I did, my mind would light up! I suffered countless palpitations throughout because I immersed myself in the stories so much, it felt as though I was the adventurer. Sadly, I can’t find those books anymore except the one below.

By the time I finished Secondary School, I could read any novel within a day. No matter how big! John Grisham, James Patterson, Daniele Steele, Francine Rivers, Mary Clark Higgins, and many more all became household names. I even ‘infected’ my mom and she loves John Grisham till today.

Just last week I threw out about 50 novels, mostly detective stories and some romance. It was painful but I had no one to give them to.

Anyway, this is what I love to do.

Reading stories and writing make me very happy!

I feel content every time I read a beautiful book and even much more when I write things that resonate and impact people positively. Yes, even if it’s just to make someone smile.

What’s that one thing that makes your face light up each time you do it?

When was the last you did it?

Responses

  1. Olubukola
    You did what???????? Why? How could you?
    😒 😠 Now I am angry.
    And yes, I remember Hints, Hearts and Ikebe Super (wasn’t a fan of Ikebe Super).

    You are definitely right about a whole generation using the same textbooks. It is annoying now when I have to buy textbooks almost every two years for my kids.

  2. Tami Okoro Dedeh
    You must have been my sibling in another life because I was exactly the same. I was never really into Mills and Boon, but I loved reading novels too, and later on when I was in boarding school, the senior students would force me to read their own literature texts, then I’d tell them the whole story…lazy cows. And yes, I do remember Ikebe Super, Super Story, and Hints, but the worst was Lolly magazine with Dauda the Sexy Guy (How someone can describe rape as sexy is beyond me). Someone was caught reading it in class, and the teacher made him face everyone and tell them what the magazine said.
  3. Aggie
    I was a science student in sec. school but I read all the literature texts. During waec, I got a hold of some novels, during prep I’ll put it in btwn my chemistry textbook and read. When they found out my trick I had to make a deal with a friend who is a good writer, we wrote stories during afternoon prep and exchanged the pages we write so we can read during night prep. Reading will always be my best friend
  4. Girl
    I’m here looking for new books to expand my library, and you’re throwing books away. I remember hints and hearts, never read ikebe super. I didn’t discover books till I for to secondary school, once I started reading them, I couldn’t drop them. I learnt to read fast before the owner will come and pound ya head once your time’s up. I love books and, stories, especially when the writer draws out every emotion from you…
  5. Eva
    Hmmmmm….Hints! How can I forget? The magazine that opened my 👀😏….oh, mills and boons…those were the days..now I find it difficult to read a book..the internet have taken over…. I would kill to read a James Hardley Chase book again, one of the best writers I’ve seen…[email protected], you know we are never going to forgive you for throwing out those books right?😒…most of the books I read were the ones from the shelves in our home passed down from my elder siblings and even my parents… You could make a mini library, there’s always someone that would need a book.
  6. Wole Adefila
    You and @aggie combined to spell out the story of my life. Life started with Ladybug actually, read Peter and Jane series up to K level. Primary school was spent reading Hints and Hearts, Ikebe super, , talk of Pacesetters!!!
    Secondary school was down to M&B to Harlequin, Silhouette, Heartsong series. I usually finish school texts before the terms began because they take the time meant for real books so I just take them out once they were purchased. I only paid full attention in further maths class cos all other classes could be understood by merely reading the textbooks. And those books by D. O. Fagunwa, Oh my days!They made me go search for Yoruba books all over. Akewi n ke, Ajitoni, Erinlakatabu, Ise Esu, Lawd!!! Saw William Shakespare for the first time with my elder sis when I was in JSS 3, I remember not reading for my Intro tech JSCE cos of the Twelfth Night. I remember reading all literature selections for WAEC and NECO though I was in science class.
    Then outta secondary school to face Jack Higgins, Frederick Forsyth, Mary Higgins Clark, then I discovered Reader’s Digest Condensed books and read life out of them. When I binged on Harry Potter I – VII in 200L, my classmates thought they’d lost me. Life pauses when I’m reading, nothing matters again until I get to see the ISBN number on the back page of the book in my hand.
    Had to join a book club last year when I saw that there’s no time to read again. And I’m even struggling with that.
    And now two months gone in the year and not a book read…*sobbing* Where is my life???
    Thank you so much for this post, it’s lovely. God bless you. The nostalgia is re-awakening.
  7. Jemimah
    This was me! I was a very quiet child but I started to read early so I didn’t have to make friends. I’m always happy for my exposure ’cause it helped me discover myself and till date I still enjoy being by myself once I’ve got good books with me. I really hope I can imbibe this reading habit in my kids.

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