I’ve known Okaima for close to five years now. Books have always been something we could talk about. I know when she finally bit the bullet and bought her kindle, how excited she was about it. Book’d wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t have her on. In this interview, she shares how her schedule as a medical doctor has affected her reading habits and how reading is saving her daily. Enjoy!
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1. What are you currently reading? Do you usually read more than one book at a time?
Currently, I am reading:
Flora Nwapa’s Efuru (finally!!!)
Dodie Smith’s I capture the castle. This is like the best coming of age book I have read in a really long time (trying not to say ‘ever ever’). A friend of mine sent it to me about 3 years ago, I only started reading it 2 days ago and I really do not know why I waited for so long.
I am no one you know by Joyce carol Oates.
Female Nomad and Friends written by Rita Golden Gelman who apparently had enough privilege to basically quit her life to travel the world when she found herself in the middle of a (not so unexpected) divorce. (Yes, I am bitter. It irks me to no end when people recommend stuff like “oh quit your job and travel the world with just a back-pack”. Great advice, but how am I going to feed though? What about visa? Who will pay for ticket?!). Been at this for about six months and my bad belle has refused to allow me finish it.
Are there actually people that read just one book at a time? How do you guys do it, please?
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 mother talks sometimes about how I was scattering her and dad’s study and looking into books I had no business with even before I was old enough to carry out full-on conversations. (So, Yes)
I do not even trust my memory enough to answer the second part of this question. So, I will just list out some books that i associate with my childhood:
Eze Goes To School, Crying for Nothing (this title still makes me chuckle. Did anybody read this? It was about an old man who used to tell kids in his village stories or something, his name was Mr Nothing. So when he died, the kids cried for Nothing, you get?), and a series of now nameless Mills and Boon novels that belonged to my sister.
3. What is your philosophy on reading? (for example, some people have to finish every book they start)
I am one of those people that has to finish a book once they start it, and I hate that so much but I can’t help it (not yet anyway).I am one of those people that has to finish a book once they start it, and I hate that so much but I can’t help it. Click To Tweet
Used to love really big books when I was less busy, but these days? The fewer the number of pages, the better/easier to finish during that boring clinical meeting or calls that allow you time to human.
4. How often do you read? How do you fit it into your day?
I read every day. How long I read depends on what sort of day I am having. Some days, I am lucky enough to put in hours, other days not so lucky.I read every day. How long I read depends on what sort of day I am having. Click To Tweet
I have literally lived this past year oscillating from one end of the hospital to another, so the reading I do is the reading the hospital allows me to do – during quiet calls, on my nights off, during clinical meetings when I should be taking notes (best time tbh), in-between patients on very slow clinic day, just before sleep takes me on nights when my bones are exhausted to larva.
I feel a lot like there is no more space in my life for leisure reading but I squeeze it in anyway.
After all, I cannot really say the novels I sneak away from my world to read are leisure when I can feel them saving me.I cannot really say the novels I sneak away from my world to read are leisure when I can feel them saving me. Click To Tweet
5. Where do you like to read? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?
In my bed lol. Or on the floor (I spend an unreasonable amount of time on floors).
Not sure what is a weird place to read a book? But the most inappropriate place I have opened my kindle in has to be in church.the most inappropriate place I have opened my kindle in has to be in church. - @kimeclectic Click To Tweet
6. What makes a good book, in your opinion?
Drake in one of his songs said “one thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain” (Bob Marley said it first and said it better though but that’s a discussion for another day). That’s what a good book does. You forget (momentarily) about the pain and drudgery of everyday living.That's what a good book does. You forget (momentarily) about the pain and drudgery of everyday living. Click To Tweet
7. Who are your favorite authors to read?
I’ve never been able to answer this question. If it is good, just bring it. Having favorites is just long.
(Lowkey always felt like a fake book lover because I really do not have any favorite authors or books for that matter)
8. What is a book or who is an author you feel is very underrated?
Sefi Atta is not talked about enough.Sefi Atta is not talked about enough. - @kimeclectic Click To Tweet
9. E-book, audiobook or paper? How do you feel about making notes/highlighting books?
I’m yet to try audiobooks, so e-books AND paper. I always thought making notes/highlighting was over-sabi behavior until I started doing it.
I always thought making notes/highlighting was over-sabi behavior until I started doing it. Click To Tweet
10. Fiction vs Non-fiction?
11. What happens to you when you read a good book? (at the beginning, during and after the experience?)
It depends on what the book made me feel. Sometimes I cannot wait to talk about it. Other times, I keep it in my chest, like a secret.Sometimes I cannot wait to talk about it. Other times, I keep it in my chest, like a secret. Click To Tweet
12. Do you reread books? Why?
Haha, I do!!!!
There is no cap on the number of times you are allowed to re-live a good experience, please. Also, I find myself needing to remind myself of somethings over and over and over again.There is no cap on the number of times you are allowed to re-live a good experience Click To Tweet
13. What book do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
14. What was the last great book you read?
Wonder by R. J Palacio
(Got it after I saw the movie trailer. Finished it in about an hour, smiled the whole day)
15. If you had to choose three books that everyone should read, what would you choose?
lol I have spent an unreasonable amount of time mentally stressing about this question.I mean, questions like this give me anxiety. Why do I have to choose anything??
Anyway, three books that have done a great deal for me/mean a great deal to me:
Mariama Ba’s So Long A letter : A 90 paged book of letters between two middle aged women who share such a wholesome friendship. Such a tiny book, packs quite a punch.
Cheryl Strayed’s Wild : I have gone from lost to found on Cheryl’s Pacific Crest Trail too many times, and I know now how wild it is, to let it be.
Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atta
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 do not have any feelings about ‘classic’ literature as a whole. Like books generally- love some, can do without some.I do not have any feelings about ‘classic’ literature as a whole. Click To Tweet
18. How do you feel about book clubs?
Nah, not for me (same goes for any sort of club).
19. What book(s) have changed your life, and how?
2. The Bell Jar
How? You’d know if you read any of them 🙂
20. How do you choose books to read?
Recommendations, titles that catch my attention, a ‘feeling’.
21. What book are you currently DYING to read?
Honestly? The Malazan Book Of The Fallen.
It has been so long I got lost in an imagined world/universe with forces of good, evil and ‘fence huggers’ throwing unexpected twists and getting you worked up over the figment of some awesome person’s imagination.
Stationary wanderer, Medical doctor, searching for answers. I’ll answer to Kim.
*Book’d is a weekly bookish interview seeking to foster conversation about books and reading. If you enjoyed this, please share with anyone you think would too.
Read our previous interview with Okadabooks’ Nmadiuto Uche here.