While I was working on my new book, The Wonder of Books, I requested Michelle to write in what she felt, liked or loved about books. She obliged my request. Michelle is this darling jolly good fellow, who tells her truth without mincing words. To say the least, she’s amazing – in every sense of that word. Check out her journey with books here:
“Reading, as a hobby started with fiction and stayed that way for a long time. From early books like “Chike and the River” and “Eze goes to school,” my imagination was opened. And so, at an early age, I found myself wondering what was going on in people’s minds and how they saw things, and wishing they would write it down so I could experience it with them. My imagination was made fertile and my horizon broadened.
After that, I encountered fiction set in the Victorian era. Oh what joy! I finally understood their ways, feelings, politics and society. It was like being transported to the past – a world of breeches and gowns, corsets and garlands, polite talks and veiled speeches. My perception of the world changed and my vocabulary was greatly coloured at the time by words like Nay, Aye, Milord and Milady, Dukes, Duchesses, Earls and all the pomp that went along with it. I would curtsey in my mind when talking to an elder. I dreamed of a world of being so proper and beautiful. Again, I had a taste of a world that my age mates knew nothing of and could care less about. It’s a euphoric feeling.
Then, I got a little serious and started reading about subjects. Psychology was my first port of call. It was enlightening. Getting to know how people thought and why they did what they did. At the time, the tendency of developing multiple personality was so great because I had such detailed imaginations about what I had read. I could talk and parley with the elderly because of the wealth of knowledge I had acquired. My hunger to learn more did not stop there, because like a fire being fed, it continued to rage. I moved on to self-help and motivational books. I had to improve – the books made me realize I had to push my limits. Anytime I thought I had attained perfection, another book showed me why I had to up my ante. I realized that some talk could be all excitement and emptiness. I wanted depth so that the “imaginations” could have and make meaning to others.
Thus far have I come, still acquiring knowledge and being further in my thinking and understanding than most of my peers. I can say that the flavour of my personality has been greatly coloured by the knowledge I have gained from reading, because I have combined a lot of people’s experiences and imagination with mine and that has put me ahead and given me a class of my own. I look forward to reading more because it’s the most exciting thing in the world.”
Chioma Michelle Odigbo