The Reading Culture Activist Eager To Catch Young Readers

A Local Library in each Nigerian district

School proprietors,parents,community leaders and people within the literary festival circuit are familiar with the name of Mrs Funmi Ilori,the CEO of iread Mobile Library.The literacy agency founded by the scholar,writer and reading culture activist.Who was inspired by the idea of a library in every district of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to launch the iread mobile library.

A Decade of iread Mobile Library

Last year,the 10th anniversary of this popular itinerant library network since the creation of Lagos State in 1967 was celebrated with the offer of other services.In reality,the work of iread mobile library is visiting schools in the district of Igando,offering books to children to enable them to develop the habit of reading,teaching them how to use books to acquire new skills and how to make them good readers before they are 10 in our electronic age.


iRead Bookshop and Electronic Library

A retail outlet in ikeja,on the Lagos mainland,an electronic book store,a subscription-based electronic library and children care are some of the new services rolled out by the literacy agency as we are gliding to the year 2024.At the same time,iread has a partnership with Tumblebook Library,the mega repository that provides access to fiction,non-fiction,games and videos from many international publishers.


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Writing and Publishing List

Non Fiction

Gamaliel Onosode:Classicus an honourable life

Gamaliel Onsode:classicus,an honourable life by Femi Osofisan and Olakunbi Olasope is a concise account on the life of the man that symbolised the private sector in Nigeria between 1960 and 1990.In this contribution,the two authors,showed that their Talent was involved in the day-to-day management of blue chips companies such as Cadbury Nigeria Ltd,Dunlop Tyres and the Nigerian stock exchange backed with his traits of integrity,simplicity and rectitude. And they showed in seven chapters inspiring details like: a village man in Lagos,a decisive path,public appointment and fortunate investment.


Niyi Osundare: a literary biography by Prof.Sule Egya

Is a literary biography that many writers will like to have on their bookshelves.As this biography brilliantly described how a Christmas pen gift from the father of this Ikere-Ekiti boy impacted his existence as a writer.The professor explained, the education of the poet,his university career and the reasons behind his re-location to the United States.The 39 photos,the penetrating facts on the writing of this great Nigerian writer and other family anecdotes are the elements that will make any reader, to sniff, I will like to write a marvellous biography like this one,at the end of the last page.


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Fashola Olajide was an instructor in a Paris-based training company and the founder of two Magazines in 2018.He obtained a Diploma in Public Relations from the UK-based CAM Education Foundation in 1980 and worked as the first substantive Media Executive in a popular advertising agency in Nigeria. In France, he  studied Contemporary History at the University of Paris and specialised in Media,Public Opinion and Cultural Studies.

As a freelancer, his articles and reviews have appeared in international publications such as The Contemporary Review(1988),Journal of Defense & Diplomacy(1989)Army Quarterly & Defence Journal(1990),Travel Books Review(1995) and Dual Career Magazine(1996). The author of French public opinion and the transition to the single currency system 1981-2002(reviewed in MBR:small press bookwatch,vol 3,n°4,april 2004),Paris Business Directory and How to manage and design business web sites.


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Lagos:a literary promenade part two

The Gerrard road outlet is very close to Jazz Hole bookshop along Awolowo road in Ikoyi.Jazz Hole remains an important stop on any Lagos literary itinerary and you find many items here as you will do in any vinyl record outlet.Jazz Hole is in proximity to CSS Bookshop, within the Bookshop House building.Created in 1869,this is the oldest book retailer in Lagos and the products on display here are general interest materials,manuals for children,religious books and higher education titles.

Retail outlets on the Lagos Mainland

On the Lagos mainland are retail outlets such as the Unilag Bookshop,Patabah,Roving Heights and Quidah Bookshop.Titles that are not reviewed in the local press but of interest to discerning researchers are available at the Unilag Bookshop.At the Adeniran Ogunsanya shopping centre,the window display of Patabah bookshop is an invitation to enter the bookshop as you will do anywhere in the world.Roving Heights, has a subscription system for regulars,the boutique is popular for its poetry readings,discussions with authors and featured on the Commendation List of the 2023 London International Book Fair.

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo and Bookshop House building.

Five professional dates to bookmark

On the literary agenda of Lagos are five dates that are worth bookmarking.The first date is the Nigerian International Book Fair in the month of May,this event is the most important book fair in Nigeria and attended by publishers and education professionals from India,Britain,South Africa and many West African countries.Some few weeks after the Nigerian International Book Fair,there is the annual conference of the Lagos Studies Association.An intellectual platform for academic and non-academic professionals eager to network,exchange views and educate the public on their research findings related to the culture,religion,economy and the history of Lagos.

Lagos literary festivals

Every year,the Lagos International Poetry Festival is able to gather the attention of poets from around the world in different Ikoyi and Victoria lsland venues.Last year and contrary to the news on the relocation of the Ake Book & Arts Festival to Abeokuta, the 10th edition of the festival was organised at the Strong Tower Events Centre. And for the past 25 years,in the month of November,the Lagos Book & Art Festival or LABAF has acquired the status of an international literary event by using art exhibitions,film shows,conferences and book promotion campaigns to consolidate the status of Lagos,as a vibrant literary spot on the coast of West Africa.


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 Lagos:A Literary Promenade

Let us imagine the scenario of a literary festival in each state of the federation of Nigeria and substantial funding at federal,state and private levels to libraries, reading clubs,writers,publishers and book retailers.The result will be a better perception of our literary scene world wide and invitations to international authors from literary festival organisers.For the simple fact that the city of Lagos beguiles  Nigerian and International writers.

The city of inspiration

Foreign correspondents have written extensively on the different aspects of Lagos.Ryszard Kapuscinski,in Ebene: Adventures Africaines explained what it means to live along Massey street, on the Lagos island, to fetch water from the public fountain and to see soldiers taking strategic positions along King George V Road on January 15, 1966.Kaye Whiteman used the historical approach in his description of Lagos and the author of Lagos: Supernatural city,accepted the honour that Lagosians bestowed upon him as you will see in Manuwa Street by Sophie Bouillon. Buchi Emechetta talked about Lagos in her first novel and when you read these novels: Welcome to Lagos,Suitors are scare in Lagos,International Sisi Eko,Nearly all men in Lagos are Mad, you think of the writings of Jane Austen.

Photos:The first novel of Buchi Emecheta, the African adventures by Ryszard Kanpuscinki who visited the market at Jankara and Manuwa Street by Sophie Bouillon

A literary itinerary in four parts

Nike Art gallery in the Lekki area has a book stand covering the Contemporary Art of Nigeria, selections from the catalogue of the Foundation for Contemporary & Modern Visual Arts  and good value titles on Nigerian Arts and Crafts.At the other end of this axis is the Parkview Estate-based Quintessence,reputed for special interest titles.Where you can buy a book,go the Q.Café and choose between a cup of coffee or a bottle of Hibiscus juice/Zobo. -Zobo is not a moonshine.


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