BOOK’D: ‘LADE TAWAK

Lade Tawak is a true book lover. I’ve followed her on social media almost since I joined Twitter. She used to review books even before it was hugely popular. It’s been pretty cool to watch her grow up and now in her final year of training to be a psychologist! I’m excited to see what she does in the future. In this interview, she shares two of her all time favorite novels, her thoughts on classic lit and the book that changed her life.


1. What are you currently reading? Do you read more than one book at a time?

A Brief History of Misogyny by Jack Holland, Efuru by Flora Nwapa and millions of articles in Pocket.

I read more than one book at a time. Usually, I try to do at least one fiction and nonfiction at the same time. I do ebooks and print books, sometimes audio books. The most I’ve done is five books at once.

 

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?

For as long as I can remember and my mother has told me, I have always been a reader. I really can’t remember the first book, but apart from picture books, it was probably something by Enid Blyton. My mother indirectly drew me into reading. She always bought books for me. She wasn’t much of a reader when I was growing up – although she reads a lot now that she has a lot more free time – but she used to always buy me books. My grandfather too, whenever he came to Lagos on my prize giving days.

I’ve always had the reputation of being a reader, from primary school up till now. In primary school, they’d just leave me in the library even when they sent everyone out. I read because it’s just something that I’ve always done and I enjoy doing. It’s not something I have to think about.

My mother indirectly drew me into reading. She always bought books for me. - @deaduramilade Click To Tweet

3. What is your philosophy on reading? (for example, some people have to finish every book they start)

I used to be a finish-every-book-I-start person, but then I realised that reading is supposed to make me happy, so why am I punishing myself by slugging through a shitty book when there are literally millions of other books out in the world? And sometimes, it’s not that the book is bad, it’s that it wasn’t the right time or I wasn’t in the right mood or it just wasn’t my type of book.

My philosophy now is read what you enjoy. Also, I rarely ever reread books. I’ve only reread two books: Purple Hibiscus and Lord of the Flies. These are two of my favourite books of all time.

reading is supposed to make me happy, so why am I punishing myself by slugging through a shitty book...? Click To Tweet

4. How often do you read? And how do you fit it into your day?

I read as much as my schedule allows me. I’m currently in my final year and I have a job and a number of personal projects including BookBarterCo, so I read whenever I find the time. I try to read from whatever books I’m reading at least once a day, usually at night. Weekends are also a great time for reading, especially when I go to the salon to do my hair. That’s at least an hour of guaranteed reading depending on the hairstyle.

I try to read from whatever books I’m reading at least once a day, usually at night. - @deaduramilade Click To Tweet

lade Tawak book'd

5. Where do you like to read? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?

I read everywhere. There’s no one place that I like to read. I read when I’m eating, in bed, everywhere and anywhere. I’ve read print books while walking on the road. I think the weirdest place I’ve read a book was at a party (I’ve done this at all kinds of parties from owambes to house parties). There are some books that you just can’t put down.

I’ve read print books while walking on the road. Click To Tweet

6. What makes a good book, in your opinion?

A good book is a book that does something for or to the reader. It may make you laugh, move you to tears or to take action. A good book might make you think. It might be temporary relief. On a more personal note, great sentences make a good book. A good book is a book that makes me go: “Wow. I want to write like this”.

A good book is a book that makes me go: “Wow. I want to write like this”.- @deaduramilade Click To Tweet

7. Who are your favorite authors to read?

I enjoy reading Oscar Wilde, Alain de Botton,  Zadie Smith, Sophie Kinsella, Koontz, Ekwensi, Emecheta, Lee Child, Jackie Collins, Stephen King, Mindy Kaling, Toni Morrison, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Oris Aigbokhaevbolo, Eromo Egbejule, Arinze Ifeakandu, Stephanie Ohumu and Dami Ajayi.

I’m also discovering new (old) writers. I never used to pay attention to writer names – I’d just read and move on. I’ve discovered Anthony Lane, Joan Didion, David Sedaris, Geoff Dyer, Nora Ephron and Fran Lebowitz.

I’m pretty sure there are many names I forgot to include.

the fran lebowitz reader

8. What is a book or who is an author you feel is very underrated?

I can’t think of anyone right now.

9. E-book, audiobook or paper? How do you feel about making notes/highlighting books?

My preference is print books (of course), but I also like ebooks, and audiobooks are growing on me. I enjoy making notes and highlights in my books, especially if I’m reading a book to review it.

10. Fiction vs Non-fiction?

I enjoy reading both. I really can’t choose one over the other.

11.What happens to you when you read a good book? (at the beginning, during and after the experience?)

When I start reading a good book, I’m excited to know what happens next (but I never skip to the end). I can’t put it down, I take it everywhere with me, and I’m wrapped up into the world of the book – the characters, their lives, their struggles, everything. At the end, it feels like I’m saying goodbye to a friend. I want to tell everybody about the book. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK THAT I ENJOYED.

At the end, it feels like I’m saying goodbye to a friend. - @deaduramilade Click To Tweet

12. Do you reread books? Why?

I rarely reread books. There are millions of books in the world and not enough time to read them. I’d rather spend the time discovering a new author or book.

I rarely reread books. There are millions of books in the world and not enough time to read them. Click To Tweet

13. What book do you wish you could experience again for the first time?

Purple Hibiscus. I think I love this book because I could closely identify with Kambili. I’ve read it three times.

14. What was the last great book you read?

Tough one. I think Swing Time by Zadie Smith. It isn’t an easy read and it took me a while to finish it, but I really enjoyed it.

15. If you had to choose three books that everyone should read, what would they be?

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

The Importance of Being Ernest by Oscar Wilde

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie

16. What book(s) are you embarrassed to have read? What books are you embarrassed to still not have read?

I’m honestly not embarrassed to have read any book. :D. I haven’t read a lot of classics; I think most of them are boring.

17. How do you feel about ‘classic’ literature?

Mostly boring

18. How do you feel about book clubs?

I enjoy book clubs and I belong to a number of them. Also, I enjoy that conversations aren’t limited to books and that it’s an opportunity to meet other people who read or are trying to create a reading habit.

I enjoy book clubs and I belong to a number of them. - Lade Tawak Click To Tweet

19. What book(s) have changed your life, and how?

The one that comes easily to mind is Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. I read the book at a time when I was battling with my identity as a feminist and it provided clarity for me in terms of how I see feminism and what my role is as a feminist.

20. How do you choose books to read?

I usually go with what I have around. Recommendations from friends or book club recs. Books mentioned or suggested in articles I read. Or books with attractive covers and interesting titles. Sometimes I go through my “shelf” (print books that I bought and haven’t read) and pick one at random.

Terra cotta beauty

21. What book are you currently DYING to read?

When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah. It’s not yet out in Nigeria and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


deaduramilade tawak‘Lade is a reader, writer, UX researcher and almost psychologist. She blogs intermittently on medium. She’s been published in Arts & Africa, The Naked Convos, Athena Talks, and Brittle Paper.
Connect with ‘Lade
Twitter: @deaduramilade
Instagram: @deaduramilade
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.
Read the last interview with art curator Kovie Parker here.



  • Ooh, small world we live in… I actually know her, we did a course together. She’s pretty amazing!
    I thoroughly agree with her on what makes a good book. Five books at a time?? What a wawu!
    http://www.desireuba.wordpress.com