Reading Outdoors

Basically my book waka. Read updates on book fairs, literary festivals and events that I attend and reviews of bookstores.

Attending Literary Festivals in Nigeria

Prepare to have a magical experience without the Naija factor hindering you.

 Two famous literary festivals that occur in Nigeria are the Ake Arts and Book Festival and Lagos International Poetry Festival.

I’ve virtually attended both through twits, pictures, blog posts, live-streams and reviews. I have been counting down to attending if not one but both festivals. I hope these help with your preparations for literary festivals.

Why are you attending? Purpose of attendance will help you make the best of your experience. Understand the theme of the festival before you attend. Visit the websites of the festival for information about the festival, its theme, events, guests, reviews and organizers. Follow their Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account to view previous festivals and ask questions. Note the day and prices for festival events you’d specifically like to attend. Read the profiles about the guests and discover creatives.

Register Early: Participate in ticket giveaways, luckily you might win. If not, head to the official website of the festival and register early to enjoy the early bird fees. Make payments and get your tickets. Follow up! Don’t just attend, volunteer! Volunteers might pay for certain expenses. Volunteering offers you the opportunity to use and gain skills. Volunteer positions for festivals are competitive and quickly taken. Pick out the events that suit your interests, if they aren’t free, pay on time. Most festivals offer the opportunity to buy tickets at the venue. But they quickly finish even at the increased rates. Asides registering early, get to the venue of the festival early..no African time you.

Comfortably Slay:  Wear comfortable clothes o. The weather in Nigeria is erratic. Some African literary festival outfits are chic Africana(ie. ankara clothes) vibrant fabrics and flamboyant accessories, adventurous hairstyles, full traditional regalias, self descriptive tshirts and denim. If you are a book blogger or SME bookseller wear attractive customized tshirt with links to your socials and sites. Hold a bag that can take your purchases. If you’re forgetful like me. You don’t want to forget your signed copy of a modern classic, festival docket or debut magazine. You’ll walk about all day so wear comfortable footwear. If you’re comfortable in heeled boots or mini leather skirt, strut it Gem. Don’t forget to slay and be creative. You can wear an outfit that fits the festival’s theme or a character of a book featured in a discussion, chat or panel you’ll attend.

Avoid Transportation Hassles; Have extra money for transportation as traffic attracts price hikes in Nigeria. Whether you’re on a danfo, bike or cab, have extra money in cash. The nearby ATM machines might not have cash in them because of the crowd. Utilize discount cab fare promos available during the festival. I’d advice you use cabs for leaving at night. Most of the festivals end midnight-ish, late. I remember regrettably walking out of the exciting poetry readings at chilly Muson Centre during LIPFest in 2015.  Often too late for safe rides in scarce public transport off and around the city (eg. the Island in Lagos). If its possible find somewhere close by to the venue of the festival to stay.

Purchase List: Have a purchase list for your desired buys.  Books, poetry albums, souvenirs, fashion pieces, food, films, arts, etc. I’m serious..literally have a list with a budget. While sticking to the list and your budget, get your purchases autographed if there are opportunities for that. Keep cash safely at hand. Ask for discounts when you purchase items. They are sometimes sold at relatively cheaper or discounted prices.

Have fun but network: Don’t be shy. Introduce yourself, brand and works. Chat, compliment, question and discuss with other attendants, facilitators and your favorite guests. Be interactive during book chats, discussions, panels, etc. Follow them on social media. Take pictures of yourself, others, the festival environs. Don’t feel excessive especially if you need content for reviews on your blog and socials. Bring your gadgets and their chargers, there will be charging outlets and free wifi.

Stay Safe: A festival is a very public space. Please be cautious, polite and security conscious. Don’t leave your things, food or pass unattended with anyone no matter the length of time. Make sure you are with your pass, dockets for every day your attend the festival. Leave the festival when you are comfortable and safe. Especially if you’re alone or tipsy on palm wine.

I hope these tips help you prepare for that literary festival. Have a magical experience Gem! Tag me your pictures on Instagram.

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ONE, TWO, MANY NOTEBOOKS

My old closie clocked 21 in September. Thinking of what to gift this fantasy fiction, stationery, skin care loving Gem. Made me remember I hadn’t published a review of Littartbyai and JustJournal_ng and their notebooks. Growing up, exercise books were filled with secrets, aspirations, class notes and my fiction stories. Its why I’m delighted Aviva exercise books have books with African comics from Comic Republic at their back covers.

I digress. Fast forward to when I began journalling my to-do-lists, goals-book blog ideas, daily expenses etc . Getting chic hardcover notebooks became a necessary expense for my health, creativity and much more. When my Rovingheights notebook from the Christmas Poetry Set finished I was so sad. I searched out Littartbyai on Instagram since i really liked that notebook. Being a stationery lover I was confused on who I should get my new notebooks from. JustJournal_ng, a Nigerian positive self-affirmation, stationery account I follow or Littartbyai, African fabric notebook makers. I decided I can’t have two many notebooks or books. I reviewed the notebooks and the maker companies in order of how I received delivery. I placed my orders and transferred payments on the same day.

LITTARTBYAI

Firstly, I must commend their unique, artsy books and Instagram account. Placing my order was simple enough. After viewing, lusting and liking notebooks on their page I sent a dm. They had notebooks from their new collection, Sanaa, available for sale at a launch discount. I ordered Anike and Ewa notebooks. Customer Service was prompt, polite and engaging. My text messages were responded to. They sent dms and called until my books got delivered.

Ewa Notebook, Littartbyai

Anike Notebook, Littartbyai

Delivery was made the Tuesday after the weekend I ordered. Each A5, ruled cream colored,100 pages notebook cost N1,500. There are also A6 sized ones. The delivery fee was reasonable until the delivery app messed with it. I had to pay an exorbitant price but Ifeoluwa offered to refund the N800 excess after apologizing. I love the notebooks themselves. The packaging was really beautiful.

Each notebook had positive quotes. Its an artistic package with a hand written thank you note from Littartbyi. I highly recommend their notebooks. Asides being great for writing. These beauties make stunning book flatlay props. Littartbyai has liked pictures with their notebooks on my Instagram. Don’t forget to use the #littartbyai hashtag.

Aren’t the African print covers just so exotic!

 

JUST JOURNAL

Corny Adult-tins by AmethystShotX

I fell in love with this notebook months before I bought it. Corny Adult-tins is one of my favorite pictures. I took it two days after the notebook was delivered to my Faculty of Law at Lasu Ojo Campus in Lagos, Nigeria. The notebook came with a cute pen that writes. Both were packaged in that thick brown envelope sealed with a sticker. Just Journal has liked pictures with their notebooks and my Medium posts featuring Corny Adult-tins.

Just Journal notebooks are simple and cute. I love self improvement and their notebooks offer just that. I enjoy reading their posts on Instagram because I learn a lot about productivity and random life facts. This notebook comes in spiral spine but I wanted it bound. Its nice I could get this option. It has white, ruled 100 pages in their signature A5 sized notes. I had to wait a bit for it to be back in stock. I paid N2,500 for this notebook. Its order was placed through Instagram direct messages. I got the delivery late due to certain issues. But I received apologies. I’ll still share more pictures when I begin using this notebook. I’m saving it for Law School. The Customer Service was polite and accommodating..I changed my delivery address thrice! Plus I got a direct message inquiring about my exams progress, how thoughtful!

I don’t think many logistics companies in Nigeria know they play a vital role in business. Without their efficiency SMEs will lose customers. They need to step up big time. Anyway, I ended up giving away the Anike Notebook to the celebrant. I hope this review is helpful.

 

 

RovingHeights Bookstore Visit

I decided to visit RovingHeights Bookstore at 28, Ogunlana Drive, Surulere, Lagos to collect my orders on 4th October, 2018. I knew I’d visit my project supervisor’s law office at Yaba this week. It was a bold plan for me who hasn’t left Ojo, Lagos in two months.  Early that morning, I got a call inquiring about my pick-up. I appreciate RHBooks consistency and excellent customer relations. Plus everyone sounds lovely on the phone, For a Thursday morning in Lagos the bookstore was open early. Thursday mornings markets, stores and shop aren’t opened until 10 am for cleansing exercises aka ‘environmental’. As I swung the dark glass door open. I spotted a wall inscription that made me smile.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.

It’s about learning to Dance in the Rain.

I had just ridden an okada under a light drizzle from Tejuosho to Ogunlana Drive. During the ride my heart danced at the thought of owning of new books. To be able to flip through their crisp, worded pages to inhale that scent of knowledge, my pathway to alternate realities.

I love archways. But when they reveal bookshelves, I love them more,

The bookstore had bookshelves filled with books from various genres. I really like the wooden desk. See how my flatlay looks earthy fresh! It reminded me of International School of Lagos, Unilag library desks.

Behind the desk are more bookshelves,

I also like the orange walls. My phone battery was really low so I couldn’t take more pictures. I’d purchased The Parrot In My Head by Anuoluwapo Sotunde for N1.500 and Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko for N2,500 through Instagram direct message. It was a short visit because I had to return to Yaba to wait for my Supervisor. I left hugged by my Gem who has delivered books to me at distant ends of Lagos.

Books truly fit to read,

Its a store one can pop in with a chilled cup of watermelon gelato and debit card to browse, buy and sit to read their books.

You should visit and get to know more about how your books find you,