I have always been a voracious reader since I learnt how to read. My reading habits are in a way peculiar, most of the time I like to have a pen and notebook to jot down information from the books I read. Recently I have come to love reading while in a public service vehicles while going to work, going evening classes and then going back to the house. Since January, I have read the inspiring story of Dame Katie Homes in White, Black and Gold, the audacious and stupendous life of Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. in the Journey to Justice. The history of modern Russia has always been fascinating, and full of suspense. I’m currently reading Boris Yeltsin’s Midnight Diaries chronicling his days at the helm in the rough and tumble of Russian public life and politics. I have already learnt that the news of his apparent drunkardness was exaggerated, the man had medical problems.
Children being mistreated by their guardians and men getting a beating from their wives is news which is getting acres of coverage across all the forms of media in Kenya as if it is a new phenomenon, but perusing through Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, no wheel is being invented in Kenya. Parallels can be drawn from the happenings in the book and the happenings in a certain corner in Kenya. What makes the book worth reading in times when the traffic a long Ngong Road is nerve wrecking is the overt comic sense of the events in it.
I grew up in a pseudo reclusive manner. But it reached a certain point in life when I exploded and became a child of the community. I became a friend to both foes and men of goodwill. I learnt the art of harboring no malice and always being genial unless I was under an imminent danger of being physically assaulted. As a result of this, I endeared myself to the people and had to acknowledge them at all times. To act contrary was to be deemed snobbish. Being a man who has relied on public transport all my life, this meant that I was to chat, debate and offer opinions most of the times I boarded a bus or a matatu. Sometimes I could be weary and the last thing on my mind being engaging anybody in a conversation. I had to think for a solution, and a quick and viable solution had to be found.
Books and reading. This was to solve the conundrum. So far, so good. I always try to have a book at hand. I enter the vehicle, get a sit and start reading. If I find a pal sitting next to me, I exchange pleasantries and immerse myself in the book. An intelligent person won’t need any prodding to know that I am not interested in a conversation. It has worked with excellent results. I get to only talk about the basics, not being drawn in talks about how the government should assist some people somewhere to do some things in some mundane life situations. This has helped me avoid getting muddled up in mtaa small talk.