Stop Book Shaming Me

Reading and writing will always be there for me…long after the thick shaft of dick has left my body…

I started stealing books right around the time I learnt how to decode the
odd shapes and skew ink blots of the alphabet in the thin books my
mother used to read to me. It felt good; shoving books into my bag while
all the other kids played in the dirt at break time. While they got
yelled at for coming home covered head to toe in the grounded diamond
dust of the soil in Gaborone, I was on my borrowed throne reading about
the Kariba Dam, fish that could twist their tongues into hurtful lies
and rich white children in the suburbs and their dog Rex.

But as I begin to shed young adulthood off like a pair of skinny jeans and
approach my thirties, it is time to admit that I might have a problem. I
don’t steal books anymore – not since my mother caught me red-handed,
but I do hoard them. Given the choice between life and death, I’d choose
to read a book about it instead.

These hoarded paperbacks come with a price…and I am broke.

There’s a sick thrill I get from being in a bookstore while I’m close to
bankruptcy. I throw away my whole livelihood for books like I’m throwing
cishet men in the trash, with precision. So, when I announce my new
purchases and I hear ‘Don’t you have enough books already?’ something in
the back of my skull cracks and out of that fracture, a warm-blooded
book bitch is born and I yell out in defense;

“What does ‘enough books’ even mean?”

“Are you saying I shouldn’t read?”

“Aren’t books an investment?”

“Stop book shaming me!”

In any case, I get where all this worry is coming from because I am guilty
of abandoning books the moment I walk out of the bookstore. I just sort
of…leave them.

But here are a couple of titles I am
excited to get to this year and yes, some I’ve had for years and some
I’ve had for mere hours.

My 2018 Reads

Ghana Must Go – Taiye Selasi

Period Pain – Kopano Matlwa

Swing Time – Zadie Smith

Welcome to Lagos – Chibundu Onuzo

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl – Issa Rae

Zoo City – Lauren Beukes

The House of Hunger – Dambudzo Marechera

Every Day Is for The Thief – Teju Cole

Reflecting Rogue: Inside The Mind of a Feminist – Pumla Dineo Gqola

Light slices through the thin gaps in my curtain. It’s 4:48PM and my toes are
still uncurling themselves from a back-breaking orgasm. I wonder what
would complete this moment and I look at the thick white pages of the
book sitting on my bedside counter

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