Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Nostalgic Reader...

I read a lot. A whole lot. My reading has gone down slightly over the years as the pressures of adult life take its toll on me but I still manage to read whenever I can. There was a time I went everywhere with a book in my bag to read on the train or bus, in waiting rooms, during my lunch break, at the park anywhere. Basically if I had some free time I read to keep myself busy. Going by the fact that I was never an outdoorsy child I think I was born with a love for reading I was that child who would rather stay indoors and read a good storybook than go out and jump rope. I read books by African writers, I read Ladybird books Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea etc. I was big on comics as a pre teen name any TinTin comic and I have probably read it, Archie and Sabrina, Asterix and Obelisk I read them all.
I grew up in the beautiful multicultural seaside city of Mombasa and my childhood besties mother had this collection of Russian children’s story books translated into English boy oh boy I practically lived in their house it’s a good thing we were next door neighbours I went to Russia and back through those books thank you Aunty Jen! I spent hours at the national library and there was this book exchange guy right outside it where you could exchange two old books for a brand new one I was one of his best customers. British children’s writer Enid Blyton she of the “Famous Five” series among others is one of my favourite authors of all time, Barbara Kimenye she of the “Moses” series if you grew up in East Africa is another all time favourite. I had this encyclopedia that I read cover to cover several times over! I read the kids pull out in the Sunday papers religiously.
image source Famous Five                     image source Moses
I was that child that would read a book under the covers with a torch (flashlight) way past my bedtime so as not to get into trouble. I was that teenager that could wake up at 5am on weekends to finish a Nancy Drew book but found it next to impossible to wake up at 6.30am to get ready for school during the week. I was introduced to books by esteemed African writers like Chinua Achebe in high school and this opened my eyes to the cultures of those writers I “lived” in a Nigerian Igbo village through thanks to “The Concubine” by Elechi Amadi.  I was that young adult who would get off the tube (subway) a stop early just to hang out at the O2 Centre Waterstones bookshop and read, read and read some more.  The O2 Centre Finchley Rd being a stop away from home was also my friends and I entertainment center so each time we had a movie or dinner date I would get there an hour early and browse the rows and rows of books at Waterstones thank God for the seating areas they provided. I used to work on Oxford St, London for many years and one of my alternative bus stops was right outside a…yep you guessed it…book store I can’t count the number of buses I missed because I decided to pop in for just five minutes and ended up spending almost an hour. I was the same girl that missed her tube and bus stop several times because she was reading a book.
Nancy Drew image source                                The concubine image source

I had Maya Angelou’s entire autobiography collection that got lost in storage and then got replaced by my dear dear friend words cannot express how grateful I am to her for replacing this collection. I never even asked I just happened to mention that I had lost my collection and she was like oh I will send you a new set I thought she was joking only to receive a package with my replaced collection may God bless her mightily!  Speaking of Maya I learned how to make corn bread thanks to her recipe book “Hallelujah: The Welcome Table”.
I am that girl who browses through book stores at airports instead of perfume counters. I was that girl who while working as an international development worker in a village community somewhere in Sierra Leone, with no entertainment spots did nothing but read in her spare time. Yes that is me the reader. I read anything and everything I don’t discriminate if it’s interesting you will be sure to find it in my hands biographies, autobiographies, political writings, business and financial stuff, romance novels, thrillers, historical stuff name it I will read it.  I still prefer physical paperback or hardcover books to e-readers and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I have this thing that I do with books that I buy I always write my name, the date and city in which I bought it on the first page. I had a good collection of books that got lost while moving and some damaged in storage it pains me to this day. One day I will rebuild my entire collection I have started already. This is me the reader always have always will.
My life in books: these are just some of the books that have passed through my hands, eyes and stayed on my mind from childhood  up until now...all images are from Amazon
Wow writing this post brought back so many beautiful memories, memories that I will cherish forever. Have a lovely day/night/morning wherever you are whatever you are doing ladies and remember to pick up a book today and come read with me. XOXO


  1. You have really read around. It's nice to write the date in the book, never thought of putting the city I bought the book in, I think i'll start doing that too. I just finished reading Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah, a must read. You and I have sweet valley high, jeffrey archer, and sidney sheldon in common :-) Thanks for the post.

    1. Oh wow another reader yay!!! Sweet valley high was the business lol! I am yet to read Americana but it's on my urgent to read list. Thanks for reading Bee:)

  2. You must be my sister from another mother because i also enjoy reading A LOT!!!! I've read so many books that sometimes i forget some but in my yester years,Sweet valley high, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew used to be a must read!!!! If you still reside in Msa holla at a girl we be swapping books!

    1. I love how the all the readers are coming out with this post welcome sis:) I tend to forget some of the books I have read as well lol! We left Mombasa many years ago unfortunately but I still visit was last there in Jan/Feb this year. Thank you so much for stopping by and your comment do come again:)


Thank you for reading...feel free to add a comment, suggestion or question. I am always happy to hear from you! Lydz.