Ah, the feeling of weathered pages flipping between my fingers, the smell of new leaves that make up a new, unread book, the itching need to know what story lies within, this is what I embrace each day, this is my bookulture.
I grew up in the library, my mum and I went book-hunting every weekend, I was forced over to the children section where I searched the shelves and stands eagerly for something to read. Even at that age I despised illustrated books, as far as I was concerned the pictures robbed me of pages I could read, an utter waste of space.
I always borrowed two books at a time, my mum though would take one big heavy book, to get her through the week.
I remember how I’d finish my books in a day or two then rush to read my mum’s books whenever I had the chance. At first, my mum was upset but my curiosity forced her to borrow books that were suitable for me to read. That was probably the best and most formative part of my life. My love for reading grew up with me, books became my friends.
For this reason, it saddens me that very few Nigerians embrace the bookulture. There are no public libraries, very few book stores (save those for academic texts) and just a handful of writers and must I add the absence of bookclubs? We complain about the low educational standards and yet the basic foundation of reading is not even encouraged in homes, let alone schools. Children are glued to the television and professionals at video games before they are ten. No bedtime stories, no books to keep them busy, just gadgets and gizmos!
*sigh* my bookulture, taught me how to communicate, it brought out the writer in me and helped form my opinions, preferences and personality. I love books, they take me on journey with every page I turn, I’ve travelled the world on the bookulture express, I’ve met people and made friends at every stop, what could possibly be better? Now, I’m about to re-visit my Hogwart-days courtesy of J.K. Rowlings, feel free to join me. Next stop, Hogwarts express!