So today I bumped onto a speed test for readers on Dickson Otieno’s blog and thought I must share this.
First, I took the test and failed miserably. I did 72 words per minute. I am 71% slower than the average UK reader. That means I would read the book- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling in 19 hours and 49 minutes. Or Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell in 20 hours and 35 minutes. Here is a book I have not yet completed, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, I would read in 39 hours 14 minutes. Ooh!
I think I might just resort to audio books at this rate. The thing is, no matter how slow, I’m in love with books. Yesterday my neighbour came to my house and on seeing my collection, she asked, “When do you get time to read all these books?” Yeah, I guess I’ll stick to my title- Bookaholic.
This Saturday we had a book club meeting with the Daystar University Book Club. Prof. Mike Kuria of Daystar University offered to host us at his Matasya home for nyama choma- roast goat meat.
We were discussing NoViolet Bulawayo’s book, We need new names, and boy! did the book generate great discussions. And laughter too! I will post a review later. For now, I just want to recount the eating, laughter and bonfire experience we had. It reminded some of us of the stories we were told by other people, of grandmothers telling them stories beside the fire. We used to listen to these stories with our mouths open wide with awe. We were fascinated perhaps because we grew in Nairobi and our grandmothers never told us fireside stories. You get the gist of my digression, do you?
It is a unique book club, which was formed by the Daystar University department of Language and Performing Arts. The first time I attended it, I was surprised to sit with faculty members, at a coffee shop discussing a book. As a student, I thought this was an innovative way to inculcate a reading culture in the university.
Daystar University book club is open to all book lovers, even outside Daystar University. As we speak, we have even more members who are not affiliated to the university.
We ate roast meat until our stomachs could not take anymore. Then there was the roasting of maize, which Kairetu turned out to be good at. I’m telling you, this girl might be wasting her talent. (Ever thought of starting a maize roasting business?) The rest (You know yourselves) seemed to be in a competition to make burnt offerings of the roast maize. Perhaps the burnt offerings were to appease the spirits back in Bulawayo’s Paradise.
As you can see, the discussions went on till darkness came to send us to our homes. We even left with cobs of maize to show that our intestines were full. Actually:
When we were full we carried our dense bodies with the dignity of elephants- if only our country could see us in America, see us eat like kings in a land that was not ours.– We Need New Names- How they lived.