Bookie Life

Bookie. Book lover. Reader. Writer. Bibliophile. This category has posts that share tips and my musings about that bookie life. Starting a reading habit? You’ll find some useful advice here!

My Reading Goals 2018

Reading is an hobby of mine I refer to as my first love. I’d like to explore new narratives in 2018. To aid this I have a short list of S.M.A.R.T reading goals. A S.M.A.R.T. goal is defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time- bound.

#GOAL 1- Maintain my reading habit during the 12 months of the year.

Action Steps:

  • Schedule reading time in my daily to-do lists.
  • Actually read and enjoy it.
  • Pick reading materials from my usual sources (purchased paperbacks, reviews, magazine published stories, my own work, blogs and Okadabooks).
  • Reflect and note down lessons learnt and ideas gotten from read work.
  • Note and share my thoughts on works read.
  • Recommend works I enjoyed.
  • Take breaks from reading (eg. In between books or during semester C.A or Exams.).
  • Keep books away from damage. Store finished books properly.

 

#GOAL 2- To read more poetry in the next 12 months.

Action Steps:

  • Read poems found online, in literary magazines and blogs.
  • Read 3 poetry collections with a average of 70 poems.
  • Read 2 poetry anthologies. I enjoyed reading anthologies in the past.
  •  Read poems of various forms written by Nigerian and other (non)African poets.

 

#GOAL 3- To read at least 7 novels from other Africans on the continent and in Diaspora.

Action Steps: 

  • Make a list of books by other African authors (nominated for lierary awards the past 2 years, from 2017 purchase list and reviews I enjoyed)
  • Purchase or read online (e)book curated on the list
  • Draft my thoughts on read works and share in WHAT I AM READING.

I’m excited about the journey the works I’ll read this year will take me. I’ll do an Achievement Assessment at the end of every quarter of the year. Because of my smart reading goals I won’t be doing any book challenges.

 

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2 0 1 8 are a bunch of numbers, a measurement of time. A collection of days and seconds that owe you nothing actually. The only person indebted to you is you. Just like any other time, this 2018 reset of surplus days is a chance. A chance for you to be happy, to read, to love, to live your dreams and pursue your desires.

2018 doesn’t owe your fervent shouting answered prayers. You owe yourself the need to act. And time, the inredeemable valuable, is what you’ve got to pay yourself.

We’ve got 2018!

My Book Challenge Recommendations

Initially I curated this list for a fellow bookie. He was referred to me to get recommendations. I have decided to share them. Would you do the book challenge in 2018? Comment and let me know.

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A. The Forest of a thousand daemons by D.O. Fagunwa translated by Wole Soyinka(classic African Fantasy)
B. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
C. Love Does Not Win Elections by Ayisha Osori (about the author’s experience running for a political office in Nigeria). Also The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin (true story told to the author by her elder brother’s ex-girlfriend)
D. A Woman In Her Prime by Asare Konadu
E. Under The Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta
F. The Woman Next Door by Yetunde Omotosho
G. Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle (a captivating best-selling detective novel)
H. I’m Judging You by Luvie Ajayi
I. Funny Men Can’t Be Trusted by Tolu Akinyemi
J. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
K. Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
L. Binti Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor
M. See G.
N. None
O. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adiche
P. None
Q. I don’t have favourites when it comes to books.
R. None that I remember.
S. Independence Day by Sarah Manyika
T. Beast of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
U. Like a Mule bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Manyika.
V. The Chronic School Hater by Ngozi Ilondi (which is an appraisal of the educational system in Nigeria).
W. Smart Money Woman by Arese Ugwu.
X. None
Y. Confessions of a Kenyan Uber Driver (is a suspense short story I read free on Okadabooks)

Writer’s Block. Depression. Mine

For a long time writer’s block was oftentimes a prelude to a bout of depression. Once I felt my writing desire dry up within me I was on the look out for other telltale signs I was getting depressed. Being depressed made me sadder because I couldn’t write. This continued for a long time. Until I came across Jessica Gimone’s Ted talk on how to get stuff done when you are depressed.

After watching it I created My Beat Depression Routine. Whenever I felt the starting signs I’d start my routine and continue this routine till that bout passed. TIP- note when you get your writer’s block. Note when you are prone to depression. Mine occurs when I achieve a set of big goals with other mood and psychological changes that follow. Once you’ve noted both periods you are prepared because you know yourself better.

TIP- Read. Just read when you have writer’s block, read. Reading while depressed helps a lot. Read erotica, intriguing biographies, classic literature, new releases, best selling titles,etc. Read anything that will be interesting, thought provoking, educative, funny, etc. Don’t forget to write down or share your thoughts about your reading material. Reading can make you reflective. Note your thoughts about yourself also.

Writing while being depressed is another way get better fast. TIP- Write down all your thoughts, plot lines, ideas and stories you randomly think of. Write about your emotions and fiction. Even if it isn’t everything but summaries. Anna Sabino, an amazing writer advises you note down writing ideas before you go to bed at night. What if you have writer’s block? It still applies. The next day you can add more ideas or write them out. With or without inspiration a writer should write. I have come to learn. It’s nice to have a writing app or notebook on your mobile device. This helps you note down ideas on the go.

By doing the above I learnt that I could overcome writer’s block by writing during my depression. This helped me get better and write relatable stories.

Lending or Borrowing Books, Things to note

Have you ever lent a book and never gotten it back? Or did you borrow a book and guilty returned it far from its original state? I know. I know. Someone will always have that book you’d love to read but don’t have. I haven’t had the best experience lending books. With experience being the best teacher I’d share some things to note. I recently used them in a book exchange.

This post will offer some tips to help you.

Lending

Lend (v.) grant to (someone) the use of (something) on the understanding that it will be returned.

Lending books is based on trust and understanding. You are trusting a fellow bookie to care for a gateway to an adventure. At the same time you should note the following to protect yourself, your trust and book.

  • Keep a record. The human mind is great but recording is better. You don’t want to wait till you have a book photography set of an author’s books to realise one book is missing. I lent my The Thing Around Your Neck and Americannah by Chimamanda Adiche but because I didn’t record it. I couldn’t recall who had which book. I still don’t have either book back. In your record, note the name of the book, the author, who is borrowing it, the date and state of the book (if its torn, new, autographed or a limited edition copy). You don’t want to wrongly accuse someone of ripping off the back cover that was never there. Memory serves only so well.
  • Read the book. Why? You don’t want to give out a book you haven’t read. It happens one market day a year that a book would go missing. “I can’t find it” would be confessed to you sheepishly. I won’t advice you lend a new or unread book.
  • Reminders. Believe it or not some friends will forget to read the book or return it. Follow up on the reader’s progress. It’s always fun sharing thoughts on the plot and characters. Request for your book on the agreed collection date. Reschedule and record a new collection date if agreed upon.
  • Collect it. The final thing to note about lending is collection. Collect the book and assess it’s state. Commend the reader if it’s returned in good shape. Share your thoughts on the book.
  • Letting go. If you get the dreaded “I can’t find it” let the book go. This can be annoying but letting go of a book than a friendship is better. Although, you can add a clause that the person will purchase it for you if it gets damaged or misplaced.

 

Borrowing 

Borrow (v.) take and use (something belonging to someone else) with the intention of returning it.

NOTE that the definition of borrowing does not imply permanent possession or ownership. Here are some things to note about borrowing:

  • Getting it. When you ask for a book from someone you should record it’s owner, date of collection, state of the book, note when you’d return it, record book name and author. A friend lent someone his Limited Edition Oliver Twist. After weeks of postponed collection dates the book was not found. The person tried buying it but couldn’t find it online or at bookstores. That was the end of the classic but thankfully not their friendship.
  • Read the book. It’s not enough to be interested in the book. You have to read the book once you get it. Discuss with the lender about your thoughts and reading progress. It assures them their book is in great hands. If you can’t find the time after two or three rescheduled collection dates return the book.
  • Be careful! I’m going reel off a list of Don’ts. Adhering to them will help you care for the book like the gem it is. Don’t fold the book’s pages. Use a bookmark instead. Don’t stain the book with tears, ink, nail paint, make-up, drops of food, drink spills, etc. I won’t say don’t eat and read because that’s my favourite past time but be careful with the book. Don’t sleep on the book and damage it. Try not to damage it’s spine. Keep the book from wet surfaces and damp walls. Put it on your bookshelf or in a plastic nylon or paper bag.
  • Return it. It’s that simple. Return the book on the agreed collection date. Apologize for defacing or damaging the book, if you did. Now that you’ve returned it you can ask the lender for ownership. I have said “I love (x a million times) this book!” in an ecstatic breath. The friend gave me the book immediately after its return.

Those are the things to note about lending and borrowing books from friends and libraries. These apply to book exchanges also.

Comment below and let me know your tip on getting or giving that book back.