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?