My Book Story 1

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This would alarm you, just as it has alarmed everybody who have heard it from me, but at an age where most people were probably struggling with Ali and Simbi or Queen’s Premier, I, and my elder brother were dismantling bigger books. I remember reading authors like Jeffery Archer (whose book KANE AND ABEL, remains my best book to date), Frederick Forsyth (FOURTH PROTOCOL , I couldn’t drop), James Hardley Chase (actually I was attracted by the women on the covers of his books, but the stories in MALLORY and JUST ANOTHER SUCKER excited me more), Williams Shakespeare and many more while I was still in primary school.

You don’t believe it? Well now it still baffles me too. However, unlike an housewife caught in bed with oga landlord, I can explain it. Maybe it’s genetic, because my father was a bookworm and my mum, a literature teacher. I grew up in a house full of books, so it wasn’t long before I too started reading these books. My dad and I are similar in many ways, but the greatest parallel we shared was our reading habits, and our love for books. I love my books, and I’m over protective of them, if it’s a good one, and not a textbook (gosh, I hate textbooks, I always wish they’re written like novels). I hardly give my books out, and if I do, they must be returned -and in good condition. I remember when my mom said she’d get rid of my books, because they were becoming too much and littering the house. It made me so angry that -in my childish mind – I thought of moving out to my own house with enough room for my beloved books. Yes, I loved my books that much, and so did my dad love his books.

Hence, when he married my mum and started his own family, part of the family was a massive bookshelf containing lotsa books. Textbooks, notebooks and (thank you dad!) novels, books from his childhood, books he read in secondary school, his university books and many magazines and journals. It’s no wonder that my brother followed in his footsteps and read the same course, I too would have but I received another calling and rebelled.

I remember ransacking the bookshelf alongside my brother, opening every single book in it and reading the ones we could. Before we’d turned ten, we’d read almost every book in the bookshelf, the few that weren’t read spared because they couldn’t be read, they were probably too advanced for primary school kids like us.

We broke my dad’s heart too, desecrating his revered bookshelf and destroying most of his books. We fought over them, read them in awkward places like in the bathroom and under the rain (yes, till date I still read in the rain). We hid them from each other (because when someone picked a book and it was good, the other will want it) in odd places, like under the mattress I’d later wet. I remember when we had to divide Jeffery Archer’s KANE AND ABEL because it was so interesting and addictive we just had to read it simultaneously.
In the end, we damaged most of my dad’s precious book, lost lots of them, and I even gave some out to my teachers in school who were amazed that I’d be reading big novels instead of “readers” like most of my mates. My dad tried all he could to stop us, he flogged, he punished, he scolded, he even had to lock the shelf, still our scourge continued. We didn’t know how much hurt we were causing, we just wanted to read books not minding how many were collaterally damaged.

It’s only now that I’m a big collector myself with my own bookshelf, and massive collection of literature that I jealously protect, that I understand how my dad must have felt. Apart from blessing us with that bookshelf, my dad also bought lots of kid storybooks for us when we were much younger. I remember reading the numerous Tunde Bakare’s Tortoise and the… my dad bought then.

Today I’m a medical student with the ability to read anything anytime anywhere and anyhow. Sometimes I show off by reading upside down. My classmates can’t really pinpoint my reading schedule or hideout, it could be anytime and anywhere. I’m also a writer with many prizes in English Language and a few for creative writing. I’m also a part time English teacher and tutor. People say it a lot and I agree, I’m more literature inclined than science. Truth is I just love to read, I love books. This is my book story, beginning in the yesteryears of my childhood and featuring a very principal character; my dad.

To be continued…



32 thoughts on “My Book Story 1” by igbor clemency (@clemency)

  1. Jo (@josephoguche)

    Nice story indeed … good thing you had a great mentor like your Dad … and you indeed write well .. lets see what the next episode reveals …

    1. @Josephoguche, thank you, let’s see what the second part reveals

      1. Jo (@josephoguche)

        Welcome bro … Yea …

  2. Hehehe, you must be my long lost brother o. Me, right from day one, I read like I was born to rape books. My father’s magazines, Greek mythology stories, essay books, christian literature all suffered some punishment from me. It reached a point that before JSS2 I had finished d list and started scattering his library looking for new books, of cos I got whooped but so what?

    Hey, I would go out and steal novels, read it and throw it away to avoid detection or hide it if it s an especially good read. Omo, I badt o

    1. @hymar, you’re really my book twin, read them Awake and Watchtower magazines dating back to before you were born, Economist magazines, old newspapers from my dad’s younger days, my dad’s romance magazine, etc… The list is endless… When there was nothing left to read, I read Bibles…stories only. I hijacked books in school too…

      I bet you read Tom Swayer…

  3. I love the humor you inject into your pieces, it makes for a nicer read. Can’t say I’ve met or have any friends like you who read so voraciously, good for you. That said, this piece could use a bit of editing, some tense and grammar issues here and there.

    1. @feiO, now you’ve met four, me, @hymar, @sibbylwhyte, @nalongo, lucky you. I must warn tho, it’s communicable.

      Thanks for pointing out the imperfections in my work, I’d try to work on them.

  4. You agree then that reading is an art… Nostalgic piece, brought back happy memories.
    Well done, Ceaser.

    1. @sibbylwhyte reading is really an art. It’s the message. Reading is an art and a blessing. Always glad to bring back to memories. Thanks for sharing in my…

  5. I was also like you. I read novels to the detriment of my school work. You need to go through your write up and do a bit of editorial work.

    1. @Nalongo, thanks for stopping by. I didn’t read to the detriment of my school work per se. Yeah, I didn’t have time for my school books, but it gave me more exposure and better vocabulary.

  6. Do I use unfortunately or fortunately? Believe me anyway, I’m an avid reader myself. But unlike you my good man, I did not rebel, I went ahead and studied English and Literary studies.
    There are some childhood attitude I couldn’t drop too, like reading all through the night, and sleeping only three hours a day! (It’s not insomnia, I’ve consulted my doctor about it).
    I can’t wait for the next part. However, this one could do with a little editing, for instance, ‘an housewife’, must have been an oversight, huh?

    1. It ain’t insomnia, it’s one of the adaptations that help me in med school, I’m used to reading late into the night, reading doesn’t tire me like it does most people. My rebellion is another story on it’s own. It was after graduating from secondary school that I discovered I was in the wrong class to study English. My parents wouldn’t hear of it. After an unfortunate incident, I swore to study medicine @chime221

  7. Mr. Books…….#laughs#

    It brought back memories……nice one.

    1. @namdi, thanx for commenting, you won’t be the first to call me mr. Books. Lol. About the JHC, believe me, it’s one of the things that spoiled me as a child. See what I said in the first paragraph? “…actually, I was attracted by…”

  8. The adventure of Caesar clemency…
    Every writer has his/her own romance story to share..looking forward to yours..

    One that I would like to hear is @hymar‘s…as d guy be street guy and fist fighter, it would be fun…even a glimpse from his comments has whet my appetite considerably..

  9. @topazo Romance has been crossing my mind a lot these days, waiting for something to spring out… Thanks for stopping by…

  10. Had I not studied English myself, I wouldn’t want to hear that my son abandoned Medicine for ‘mere’ English!(As if English is actually ‘mere’) but that’s what most parents would tag it.
    Perhaps you’ve not noticed how proud parents are when they are called names as: ‘Papa Doctor’, ‘Papa Engineer’, or ‘Mama Lawyer’,(at this mothers always feel like looking for trouble at the market square), or ‘Mama Rev. Father'(she’d feel like asking you to make confessions to her directly!)
    But who knows you if your son read English? They’ll always ask you: “na big grammar we go chop”?. Hahaha.

  11. @chime221 not that they wouldn’t want to *hear* that I study English, the problem was hearing* that I studied English with my knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics…

  12. All †ђξ same @Clemency
    Whether Jona swallowed fish or fish swallowed Jona, it doesn’t mattε̲̣̣̣̥r so long as thε̲̣̣̣̥rε̲̣̣̣̥ is a ‘swallow’.

    1. You’re right @chime221 my mum studied English and ended up as a teacher, I’d have ended up as a writer, but she couldn’t risk it

  13. I am amazed at some people’s choices of words. It is mind blowing, in a good and bad way. That said, one’s love for reading should not necessarily translate to a degree in English or Literature, or a teaching career. Everyone should read, and we should have the other professions/disciplines too.

    1. @Febidel, thanks for stopping by

      I’m pink-cheeked you find my word usage mind blowing, how sweet…
      Well said sis, we all should read irrespective of our disciplines…

      Do check out my other posts *It’s a one word http://www.naijastories.com/2013/09/its-a-one-word-1

      And Belov’d one http://www.naijastories.com/2013/10/belovd-one

      Thank you.

  14. WOW!

    Dissecting books in three just to devour it’s contents, is taking reading to another level!

    I do agree I’ve found someone who has surpassed me. I didn’t grow up with lots of books, but my love for books led me to the art of borrowing. Infact, the only thing I borrowed growing up were books. Added to the borrowing, was the ability to speed read.

    I’d see a book I wanted to read with someone in school, and read in between subjects and during free periods. Of course I had to read fast in order to get to the end before closing time. Then there was joint reading, where three or more of us read a book at the same time (hence the need for speed reading b4 the page was turned- by the primary reader) plus the waiting list/pass the book round (She’s after me, I’m after you, you’re after her).

    And so, that was how I found books to read. Occasionally of course, one came across kind hearted individuals who allowed one take the book home for a day, or for a weekend (God bless their souls). Still speed reading was necessary due to the presence of home work and house chores.

    Thank you for taking me down memory lane. I loved books growing up.

  15. @funpen, your fun pen just continued the book story, what an adventure you must have had. It’s my pleasure to bring back pleasant memories. Thanks for stopping by…

    1. You are welcome, well I found myself in a science class and became a physiotherapist anyway. But you are right in that reading exposes one and gives one a rich vocabulary. Books did that for me. I also realize that being a writer in a different discipline enriches your writing as well. I also wish I’d studied english or masscomm but I was too scared to tell my parents. So I went to med school and I do not regret it.

      1. We parallate then, couldn’t risk reading English too, so I ended up in Med school, where I currently am… No regrets, praying to God to help me get into print and also trusting him for my MBBS and beyond…

        1. We parallate then, couldn’t risk reading English too, so I ended up in Med school, where I currently am… No regrets, praying to God to help me get into print and also trusting him for my MBBS and beyond… @funpen

  16. I can really relate to your story I went through the same reading all those “useless” books as some of my friends used to call them, by the time I was in primary five I had read novels like the roots I remember when NTA network started showing the series based on the novel I was dazzling my friends with prediction on the outcome of the next episode like a prophet. Sidney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Frederick Forsyth, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jackie Collins men those writers really touched my life. I had an elder brother too who read a lot although my brother and I willingly shared our novels with each other infact if he read a good novel there was no way he won’t introduce me to it
    I’m a lawyer now but you will still find me reading a good novel in court even when I have a very challenging case, there is nothing better than a good novel.

    1. @danjuma just like yours, my friends used to say I was wasting my time, they still say I am, but I know I’m better off for it.I read the hobbit, lotr and the Bourne series, I tell everyone that cares to lend a ear that the movies don’t hold a candle to the books. I pick a novel too when med school becomes so tough you don’t know what to read, I just pick up my novel and a pen after…

      Thanks for sharing your book story. I appreciate…

      1. @clemency you are right all those movies based on best selling novels can never capture the story as it is in the books. I’m a movie freak too but I know the books are far better than the movies they are based on.

        1. @danjuma what d’you expect? Trying to compress hundreds of pages into two hours? Naaaah!

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