Growing up I had a very broad reading experience. I would read almost anything I got my hands on. We had membership at the local library in Mutare called the Turner Memorial Library. We would go there on friday afternoons to take some books and we had a week with two books.
At the same time we had a library lesson at school where we were allowed to take out two books for the week. My father also had a shelf in the study and he was a fan of Wilbur Smith. And most of his books were on theology. I was not one of those freaks who would just read a dictionary for the fun of it! Reading was instilled into us from a very young age and I enjoyed it. We would also swap books with with friends. The following list of reading material is what has shaped my literacy through out the years.
Introduction to reading was through fairy tales.
Books – Aesop Fables, Lady Bird Books, Rudyard Kipling’
During my teen years the mystery and detective books kept us riveted.
Books – Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Fantastic Five
Late High school & College
After going through all the hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books that were available I resorted to the law thrillers and horrors. I enjoyed horror the most though.
Books – John Grisham, Stephen King, Stephen Laws, Micheal Critchton, Wilbur Smith
This was obviously mandatory reading, the only Shona books I ever read were the ZJC set books.
Books – Macbeth, The Wife of Baths, The Sealanders, The Scarlet Letter, Jane Eyre, Friend Billy and the Msasa Three, Merchant of Venice, Charlotte Bronte
After college I read Biographies and historical books especially Zimbabwe history. While doing book jacket design I would read all my complementary books I would get for my portfolio.
Most mags were from Kingstons, Mac Seconds and on the streets. In the magazines were also posters which we would stick on the bedroom walls. Now I mostly read and buy industry specific magazines for design and photography. When ever I visit Zimbabwe I try to get as many local magazines mostly to gauge how they are progressing.
Magazines – Drum, You, Parade, Time, Newsweek, The Source, Rap Pages, XXL, WWF, Vibe, Ebony, People, Moto, How Magazine, Step By Step, Communication Arts, Wisden Cricketer (from Mac Seconds), Creative Arts, Digital Photography
These seem to be very popular, 20 Steps to such and Such, How to become a dash, dash, dash. I have no time for all of these because they are all based on biblical principles. I met Charlton Tsodzo in town and he gave me a copy of his Bhora Mberi motivational book, which I have read and is the only motivational type book I have read.
I only bought the Kwayedza, H-Metreo and Daily Sun once to have a look and never again! The Herald was the first paper I read, I was only interested in reading the cartoon of Hagar the Horrible, then I would move to the crossword and then the sports page. Eventually I started reading the full paper. I had a ritual for reading the Zimbabwe Independent and Sunday times. The Independent I would buy on friday morning on my way to work then would read half when I got back home at night. Saturday morning I would sit in the sun and read the rest. The Sunday Times I would buy on my way from church and then sit outside and read it till the sun went down. Now I no longer read the newspaper unless I am looking for something specific.
Newspapers – Herald, Manica Post, The Zimbabwe Independent, Newsday, Daily news, Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times,
Without doubt the book I have continued to read over the years is the Bible. I have not read it from cover to cover chronologically although I have read all the books through.
Books – Bible, Commentaries, Concordance, Voice of Truth, Gospel Advocate, Spiritual Sword.
The internet has taken over most of the reading that I do. I mostly read articles of trade and christian literature. Blogs, news and forums. Long reads I normally print out and read in the bath or when watching the kids while they are playing outside. Facebook is also a source of reading, status updates and discussions which follow. I am quite sure that today the only reading some people do is Facebook status updates and the comments
Comics were not easy to come by we would get them from Mac Seconds and from friends. In Harare I would get them at Treasure Trove. The beauty about it was that you never knew what you were going to find. We would save money through out the week then friday afternoon we would go to Mac Seconds.
Comic Books – DC, Marvel, Asterisk, Mad Magazine, Beano, Judge Dredd, Tin Tin, Graphic Novels (Lord of The Rings – looked forward to the movie just to see how they dealt with Gollum) Richie Rich, Archie, Casper
I miss reading though, the conventional type where you would sit and read a printed book and leave a book mark to continue later. I used to enjoy designing my own book marks, those were some of my earliest design projects.