I’ve always had a love for reading. Ever since my dad introduced me to the art, my never ending curiosity always made me gravitate toward any book that happens to be in my line of vision, just to check out what was inside it. My birth gift from my dad who was out of the country to further his education when I was born, was a book written in Dutch. This always made me want to learn German, if only to read my book; I only know it’s a story about a baby – I guess it’s my dad’s self fulfilling prophecy that his daughter would come to love books. I was introduced to the Lantern Series in primary school, from then on to Bedtime Stories series, Bible stories with pictures, Enid Blyton, the Left Behind series, amidst other books. As much as I loved those books, I wanted more, so I started to read children’s book about the Solar System, the Milky Way galaxies and other galaxies out there. I read about whatever I thought was fancy science, I read about arts, I learnt about history, I just read any damn thing I fancied, it helped there was a national library a few blocks away from my house and it had all sorts of books. Dad was the one who made my siblings and I go there at first, then I started to like it simply because it satiated my curiosity, as a result of this (and a television addiction) I knew more than I should have in science, arts and newswise than a lot of Nigerian kids my age. I loved that it made me look brilliant, when all I just did was something I enjoyed. In secondary school I found out about romance,I think most girls had that Silhouette, Harlequin and Mills and Boons phase, and subsequently the best sellers; sci-fi, horror, mystical, christian .etcetera.
Then came the university days when everything changed; gradually my love for learning started to dissipate in the face of my need for better grades, all I was allowed to do was cram, I feel like I started to abuse my brain from that point on and of course, this brought some major consequences; I had lost my never ending curiosity, in it’s place came an abyss of boredom which resulted in behaviors like sleeping in class, fixating on celebrities I once considered nuisances, living in la la land for more hours than a normal person should and so on. Sometimes I’m scared that I may never be able to go back to the old insatiable me, what with how everything seems to be getting worse in the country, man gats hustle before man get three square meal, who get time to dey read nonsense, I don’t think I can mention with conviction 5 new authors whose book came out in the last decade, yeah it’s that bad.
But then I find a piece of poetry online or snippets of a book someone else is reading and that exited me in a way, it makes me know that it’s like breathing, my curiosity that is, it’s just not directed at school, so I stop beating myself up by trying to compare myself to people who happen to enjoy something else, because it’s simply not the way I’m wired.
What do you love? Have you read a book today?
                                               Gloria.

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