Confessions of a Repentant Bookaholic

I’m sure you’re wondering what it is with all these buzz words. First it was Readaholic. Now its Bookaholic. Well, to narrow things down both are book affiliated. 

A Readaholic will read anything and everything short of equipment manuals. The read addiction is second nature to them and they can hardly ever be found without a book or reading material close by. In essence, they are constantly reading one book right off the shelf of replacing another.

On the contrary, the Bookaholic very likely used to be a Readaholic at some point in time. Most probably read books back to back and was devout fan of certain highly admired authors until……well, until things changed. Perhaps a high powered and extremely demanding job, marriage, one baby, two babies, saving the world, defending the poor & hapless and all other “life happened” kind of things that saw the evolution of a Readaholic to a Bookaholic. 

So, a Bookaholic is that well-meaning, well intentioned reader who because of inopportunity to read gradually turns into a book collector with the good mind to read purchased books but never quite accomplishing the completion of such books or worse still, even a start, as a result of tedium from lifestyle demands.

So yes, I confess. 

I used to be a Readaholic. Then “life happened”. So now, I’m the floundering Readaholic, catching my mojo intermittently with short stories, struggling through the pages of volume novels through sleep stolen eyelids and spending eternity to finish one book. So I became a Bookaholic, buying the books anyway, caressing them in my hands, hugging them to my chest and stealing glances of paragraphs from the pages in between. You’ll always find a book in my bag. You may catch me reading a page or two as I have lunch. I know what is trending on new releases and bestsellers of my favorite genres. My bookshelves and underneath my bed have burgeoned with unread or half read masterpieces, except of course for the collection of short stories, many of which I could finish at a read giving me that rare and far between sense of completion. So while we’re on that, much appreciation to Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshops for “It Wasn’t Exactly Love” and “A Handful of Dust”, Chika Unigwe’s “Better Late Than Never”, Abubarkar Adam Ibrahim’s “The Whispering Trees”, “International Sisi Eko”, by my very own Alma Mata – Department of English, University of Lagos, Toni Kan’s all time classic – “Nights of the Creaking Bed and Other Stories”, “The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and Other Sorry Tales” by Ayo Sogunro, Chimamanda Adichie’s “The Thing Around Your Neck and other Stories” and yes….how could I forget, my current comfort book – “What it means when a man falls from the Sky” by Lesley Nneka Arimah and, Chuma Nwokolo’s “How to Spell Naija”- 100 short stories.

And now, like a gnawing ache deep inside of me, I look at my bookshelf with a sense of longing, knowing retirement would be too long way off for me to begin to relish the word feast I have starved myself of, likewise been too afraid to share with anyone for fear that my beloved books will not be returned.

So. I am repentant now. Sorry, I have had to listen in silence to commentaries and criticisms by others on a book hanging in my shelf, unread. Feeling alienated from writers through whose books and stories I have at some time past felt a sense of kinship. Unable to assuage myself of my sense of betrayal to my reading soul.

In essence, I have committed to retrieve my avidness someway, somehow, anyway because I realize the happening of life is fast becoming the un-happening of me. 

So, on that note, I am resolved that my first finish will be the book in my bag, thankfully reading Lesley means this is going to be easy.

Please. Wish me luck.

yarmon