Tiwa is one of my closest friends. She is also one of the best writers I know; I could read her grocery list. Tiwa’s approach to reading has been shaped by the fact that she is a graduate of English (& International Studies). She pays close attention to words and sentences and many a time in the middle of her reading a good book, she will send a good number of pictures saying “this is such a great sentence”. I’m glad to have her on BOOK’D and enjoyed reading her interview. I know you will too.
1. What are you currently reading? (indicate whether you’re wont to read more than one book at a time).
I’m usually only reading one book at a time. Currently, I’m reading See Now Then by Jamaica Kincaid.
2. Have you always been a reader? What is the first book you remember ever reading? What drew you into reading/why do you read?
My first book I think was one of those Ladybird Peter and Jane storybooks.
I like to think I’ve always been a reader. In my early teenage years, I would read a novel a night. All the librarians at school knew me because I read voraciously. At the time, I mostly read to escape boredom. Now, I read out of a conscious desire to grow in my understanding of the world around me.
I read out of a conscious desire to grow in my understanding of the world around me. Click To Tweet
3. What is your philosophy on reading? (for example, some people have to finish every book they start)
It would have to be take your time, read what you like, how you like. I majored in English so now, whenever I don’t have a deadline, or a book assigned to me, I tend to read a lot more slowly than the conventional reader, and read whatever, however, wherever.
4. How often do you read? And how do you fit it into your day?
I usually read on my way to things, or when I should be doing other things. Books are most interesting to me when I have a huge unrelated task due soon.
Books are most interesting to me when I have a huge unrelated task due soon. Click To Tweet
5. Where do you like to read? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?
I’m generally unadventurous, so probably just whilst walking on the street.
6. What makes a good book, in your opinion?
I really love language more than anything. I think the beauty of the language is what I find most compelling about any book. I also love being surprised or being challenged at least, to see a regular story from a new perspective.
7. Who are your favorite authors to read?
I don’t have any favorite authors in particular but I appreciate women writers that write vibrant, profound stories about marginalized realities. Toni Morrison is one. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sandra Cisneros, Taiye Selasi. I think these women are so powerful, and I’m always inspired by their works.
I appreciate women writers that write vibrant, profound stories about marginalized realities. - Tiwa Click To Tweet
8. What is a book or who is an author you feel is very underrated?
I wouldn’t say it is underrated exactly, but too many people dislike Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi. I think it’s a great book.
9. E-book, audiobook or paper? How do you feel about making notes/highlighting books?
I love taking notes, underlining and highlighting in books. I know this upsets some people but for me, it makes them feel a lot more personal. I find e-books very convenient. I’ve never had an audio book grab my attention before. I probably just haven’t tried the right one.
10. Fiction vs Non-fiction?
The answer would have been fiction up until very recently. I think non-fiction is all the goodness of fiction and then some, because it’s true.
11. What happens to you when you read a good book? (at the beginning, during and after the experience?)
It gives me a lot of joy. I feel like I’ve made a good investment. It’s a very personal and deeply rewarding experience.
12. Do you reread books? Why?
Always. I do the same with movies too. I usually skip over some bits the second time around, but would it be crazy to say that I miss the characters? I miss them and I’m still sad and upset and angry and heartbroken so I revisit them.
13. What book do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
Yrsa Daley-Ward’s poetry book, Bone. Or any good poetry book. I love the fresh surprise of a good, new poem.
14. What was the last great book you read?
Home by Toni Morrison. It is a really short book, but it is so well-crafted. It explores race, trauma and emotional displacement in a way that is so intentional. I don’t think I’ve ever read any other novel where you can tell that no detail is incidental.
15. If you had to choose three books that everyone should read, what would they be?
16. What book(s) are you embarrassed to have read? What books are you embarrassed to still not have read?
17. How do you feel about ‘classic’ literature?
I think classic literature is important, but it would be tragic for anyone’s reading to be constrained to that alone.
18. How do you feel about book clubs?
I’ve never been in one but I imagine I’ll start one someday. We’ll meet every week and eat blueberry muffins and exchange educated opinions on excellent books. It’ll be great.
19. What book(s) have changed your life, and how?
The Bible. Literature moves me, makes me feel, sharpens my empathy but the bible is the only book I can think of that has had a lasting, transformative impact on the person I am. It reads like literature, but it’s alive, it’s dynamic, it speaks to something much deeper.
20. How do you choose books to read?
By their titles. I don’t even read the blurb before I decide on a book. That or by the author’s reputation— I’m not proud.
21. What book are you currently DYING to read?
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
Tiwalade Adekunle is a recent graduate of International Studies and English. She is passionate about reading, writing and eating Chipotle, and was born in southwestern Nigeria.
Connect with Tiwa:
Tiwa’s website: Soulitudes
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