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Thursday, April 14, 2011

All These On Books!!!???

*****Let me fill you in on my recent adventure to Lagos:

I'm informing you about this not because that was the first time I would be traversing beyond my state, I've had the chances of attending literary readings, weddings, and going on family visits in Lagos. What made the recent journey I took to Lagos unusual is the purpose of which the journey was embarked upon.

Should I say I was too intransigent to my parents' opinion? I don't think so. So many times have I always had it slugged out with people who believe my state's local booksellers' stocks should have all my shelf's needs. Except I want to get my bishops' authored pieces, academic textbooks and commercialized motivational books, any other thing called current contemporary African literature will always have me save up every penny on me if I'm to get minimum of four books from Silverbird Lifestlye store, a bookshop that houses books of all genres like a haven of some sort. Sometimes, I wondered if the writers also had the bookshop in mind when working on their books. The heavenly feeling of Lifestlye Store is in the way books of diverse contents are shelved in appropriate spaces to please the scrutinising eye of the collector or in my own case, the reader. A carefree person might spend the last shi-shi on him, forgetting to keep some fares behind. The exquisite arrangement of their blue shelves will always make one's heart clink with reading pleasure.

Today makes it exactly two weeks that I went on an undisclosed journey to Lagos to shop for books. It was a personal planned mission – travelling to Lagos to get books. This I dared not inform anybody I was going to do, I wouldn't like putting up with the swipes that may come afterwards. To some of my friends who knew I was 'jetting' out, sorry it was a bus, 'bussing' out of the state, I palmed them off with the reason of adding some latest shoe designs to my packs of shoes. Only that I couldn't produce the shoes I had bought when they came knocking to check them out the following day. They were disappointed, they only saw my shelf heaped up more with latest books instead.

Telling you now that I could spend my last kobo on African fictions shouldn't be news any more, wasn't that the main reason of my journey to Lagos? When my mom asked if my travelling all the way from Osogbo to VI in Lagos was only to update my shelf, I knew she questioned in innuendoes as I watched marks of irritation creased from her temple to the upper groove of her plump lips. "Tayo, you mean you are going to Lagos to buy only books, what's gone wrong with the ones on your shelf, are they too dusty you can't read from them anymore?  Standing up to defend myself that very moment won't worth a pinch of sugar. If putting a defense were necessary, I would have taken the pain to go through analyses she may not understand about how I have to make blogposts of current African literature in reviews and how I have to keep my knowledge of which book read well, especially now that The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Shoneyi has just made an Orange book shortlist, Adunni's Under the Brown Rusted Roofs is going in for a reprint and Myne's A Love Rekindled is coming to Naija very soon. That I was too bored to do as I hurriedly creamed my body in shivering process of the curiosity my long journey to Lagos demanded. I was too removed from my immediate environment to taking logical calculations on the numbers of hours it would take my vehicle to Lagos, Fashola's BRT to CMS and the white and green bus from CMS bus stop to VI.

By the time I made it back to my crib in Osogbo, I was fulfilled holding books I had read about online and saw glossy cover pages of in the print media. I carefully unpacked them as I stack them into my shelf. In the quietude and loneliness my room offered, I hiked up my shirt and screamed delightedly at how successfully I had just bravely war in getting books that are unusual to the clime I lived in – Osogbo.

Moments later, I became bored looking at the books where they were properly shelved on other books and the tiredness from the journey got me thinking on what adventure I had taken in just having some few books that were just four in all. I repulsed the situation I inured myself to in purchasing the books. My heart stirred with fury at the cost of the fare I had expended. I solved some arithmetic and I was stupefied at the numbers of books I would have bought were my state's bookstores shelved with the least stock of books Lifestyle Store and Terra Kulture in VI showcased.

You may think I have only just been rabbiting on, what you can't however dispute is the fact that I was indeed a victim of poor distribution of Nigerian/African Literatures, a syndrome which is really garroting reading culture. I only wonder how many of my mates who stay outside Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt will be able to brave it through boarding a bus out of their states in spending money on African fictions while their Blackberries™ whimper for monthly subscriptions. I'm fed up and I may come down with fit of coughs at how I have always had to refer my blog readers to Lagos whenever they wanted to know where to get a book they've just read about from my review….

I suffer teh e e e….! I tire jo o…

All these palaver on books!!!


Anyways, I still take succour in the glossy covers and witty creative stew of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives, Wizard of the Crow, To Saint Patrick and Imagine This; books that are already making me to bask in the euphoria of the thoughtful reviews I would be posting on this space very soon…

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