Happy New Year Brittlers!
What everyone needs at the start of the new year are tips on how to reinvent aspects of their lives. For people like us who love African writing—2014 may have left us a little exhausted from the whirlwind of new fiction, book festivals, and social-media drama. I’ve put together a 7-day treatment course to help boost up your enthusiasm for 2015, a year that promises to be amazing for African literature.
Day 1. Get a Detox
Are you just about sick of reading “serious” African novels and listening to African authors going on and on about political issues and other matters of world-historical importance? Don’t despair. You’re simply showing signs of someone in urgent need of a literary detox. Ankara Press romance novels is the perfect remedy. The hip and absorbing purse-size novellas featuring titillating African romance is the literary antioxidant you need to clear out those unwanted thoughts that could permanently damage your enthusiasm for African fiction.
Day 2. Revamp Your Reading Habit
Focus on building a relationship with books tailored to your unique personality. Read about and around things you genuinely love in your daily life. If you are a fashionista, explore fashion fiction books. If oldschool African novels bore you, then read more of the new titles like Ghana Must Go and Lalami’s A Moor’s Account. If realist fiction is not your speed, you’re sure to like everything published by Lauren Beukes, Nnedi Okorafor, and Sarah Lotz. The key is letting your taste guide your reading.
Day 3. Digitize Your Entire Library
Retire your clunky, dusty books and take your reading life to the cloud. Buy only electronic versions of your favorite novels. Everything from Adichie’s Americanah to Zukiswa Wanner’s London, Cape Town, Joburg is available on Kindle and other e-reading platforms.
Day 4. Novelize Your Love Life
It’s a new year, so leave your old sex routine behind. Let African fiction introduce you to a delightful world of sex-perimentations. The South African erotica, A Girl Walks into a Bar, by Helen S. Paige is a good place to start. The London-based Nigerian author, Kiru Taye, also has a whole boudoir of titillating novels to get you in the mood.
Day 5. Go for Literary Small-Chops
If you don’t have time to read a long, bulky novel, don’t worry. Consume your literary favorites in bite size. Make African literary blogs like Brittle Paper, Naija Stories, Omenana, and Saraba Magazine part of your daily routine. Literary blogs like these publish original stories, poems, and short essays that you can access on your phone for free and read on the go.
Day 6. Get the Literary Rock Star All-Access Pass
Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a must-have for avid readers. For only 10 dollars a month, you have access to a massive inventory of e-books containing a good amount of African titles. When I’m in my literary zen zone, I could read as much as three novels per week. Since I signed-up for Kindle Unlimited, I’ve ceased to worry about breaking my bank from buying books. Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a good way to slash your reading bill and get you instant access to an expansive library.
Day 7. Rev Up Your Literary Exercise Routine
Don’t just read. Use what you read to strengthen your intellectual muscles. Learn how to talk and write about what you read. Head on to Twitter and join the conversation about African fiction. Someone to follow is, of course, yours truly @brittlepaper, but there’s also @zunguzungu, @sisterkilljoy, @jamesmurua, @bookshybooks, @BinyavangaW, @LaurenBeukes, @ikhide, @tejucole, @nnedi, @Chrisabani. These novelists and bloggers are part of a vibrant community of African readers that you could integrate into your daily social-media life.
1. By andcombust via Flickr
3. Anne Adrian via Flickr
4. Wolfman- K via Flickr
5. Abbensett via The New Naturalista
6. Foodicted via Flickr
7. Rebecca Siegel via Flickr
8.Zachary Long via Flickr