Welcome to #Spotlight. If you are new to the blog, this is the interview series where you read about the most amazing humans who love books and all things bookish.

Today’s #Spotlight is on Lara AKA @naijabookbae. She is one of the most fun personalities I’ve had the pleasure to experience. She is a book blogger, check out her blog here. Also, she runs an incredible #Bookstagram account and eats books for breakfast. In other unrelated news, her smile is capable of disarming the meanest of terrorists.

#Spotlight @naijabookbae

Where did your love of books /reading come from?
My love for books came from my primary school library. It was filled with all types of books for children in primary school. It was always a treat going for library period. But I really fell in love with reading in February of 2006. I was in primary five and I had fractured my left ankle, so I couldn’t play or move around with my friends, so my teachers suggested the library, and there I was the envy of all my friends because I was allowed to borrow books from the library when they couldn’t. Also my parents & family members supported this habit, whatever the book title I asked for they got it for me, from Jacqueline Wilson to JK Rowling.

As a book reviewer, do you feel pressure when you read books?
I don’t feel pressure, why would I feel pressure when I am reading? I simply read books for the pleasure I derive from reading. When it comes to reviewing a book whether I love, like, dislike and dnf (did not finish) it, I am always honest. Most of the books I have reviewed in the past, I bought them with my own money, it’s just this year I have only been posting reviews for books I’ve been given to review from publishers because I don’t have as much time on my hands to do my own thing as I used to before, even still I do not feel any pressure, because I believe my criticism is for the betterment of any author. But I do feel pressure sometimes when I haven’t read the books and I’m owing a review.

What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
If the book is way too detailed and is dragging, with unnecessary repetition. It bores me and becomes a task to go on. When a book is poorly edited and the storyline is borderline offensive. I used to feel guilty when I stopped reading a book, even if I haven’t gotten half-way but someone said to me “Why waste your time on a book you don’t like, when there are so many more books to read before you die.” So in short, stop wasting your time on books you don’t like and move unto the next one.

The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I’m a broke fresh graduate so I haven’t spent that much buying books with my own money in a book store at one time (but in a month it could be a lot, when it comes to books I have bad self-preservation), but I remember once I spent N26,600.

Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Book of Night Women by Marlon James. The book got me in every way and moved me so much, the story builds up and you just feel everything, apprehension, disgust, overwhelm etc. It’s a book everyone should read.

What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
I can’t really think of one.

If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
French because one of my best-friend’s first language is French, it would be so cool to converse in a language that is easy for him to comprehend faster.

How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don’t like giving bad/negative reviews, because I really want to pick up a book and enjoy it, but bad is part of life, so if I have to give it, I do it and air out all my thoughts. I gave the time to read the book, why won’t I be honest about the time lost or moreover wasted when I was reading it.

Have you ever read a self-help book? Did it help?
No, I have never and I really don’t know if I could, I tried reading one of the Malcom Gladwell books but it was just gibberish to me, plus I’m not interested. Although some about women empowerment, I could give a try later.

Genre you rarely read (but wish you did)?
Non-fiction. Just like fiction it’s diverse, so I wish I could read more autobiographies, memoirs etc.

What is your policy on book lending?
I used to be a lender, now I have lost more than 50 books of mine, and many of the books I’ve lent out have been returned to me in tatters so I no longer lend or give out my books. If you want to lend my book, you’ll give me the money I spent on acquiring it and I will only return it, if my book is returned in pristine condition. That is my policy, which has chased people away. (p.s books aren’t cheap)

Least favourite book you read this year (so far)
That Omo book, by Alexander something. Just terrible, there’s no sense or reasoning to the events that occur in the book and the fact that a girl that hasn’t even clocked twenty yet goes to a series of life shattering events and doesn’t end up depressed, suicidal or suffering from PTSD is the height of it.

If you could be born into history as any famous person who would it be and why?
Jada Pinkett, she’ll be married to Will Smith.

#Spotlight @naijabookbae

What do you want your tombstone to say?
I don’t want to be buried in the traditional way. I want to be cremated and then my ashes should be used in planting a tree or something, I don’t want my body to go through the immensely gross stages of decomposing.

You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?
No killing of one another.


#Spotlight @naijabookbae

Would rather sweat mayonnaise or have cheese for saliva?
I would rather have none.

What is your guilty pleasure Disney movie?
I would say Parent Trap.

Would you rather have free wifi wherever you go or be able to drink unlimited free coffee at any coffee shop?
Free wifi, this is so easy.

What is the colour of your toothbrush?
I have many toothbrushes because I’m always shuffling around and it’s always good to have a toothbrush with you. So blue, red, green, white and yellow.

Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you for having me featured on your blog.

Isn’t she just lovely? Follow her on Instagram here. She also makes the most amazing book sleeves which you can get here.

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