LIL Magazine September 2022

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Behi ndtheScenes Wr i t t enby MayowaOmogbeni gun I G:@womensgr oup_l agos, @mayowa_r eads

WHYWENEED BOOKCLUBS Wespoket oMayowaOmogbeni gun,t hef ounderofWomen’ sGr oup Lagos,abookcl ubi nLagos,aboutt hei mpor t antr ol ebookcl ubspl ayi n t hel i t er ar yecosyst em: Whatar esomeoft hebenef i t sofj oi ni ngabookcl ub? Thegr eat estbenef i ti st hef eel i ngofcommuni t y .I nabookcl ub,youar e abl et obondwi t hot herpeopl eoverashar edl oveofl i t er at ur e.I n di scussi ngl i t er at ur eandt hel i vesoft hechar act er swer ead,wear eal so abl et ogett oknoweachot heri nameani ngf ulway .Wedi scussour exper i encesandal sodi scussouri deasandbel i ef s.I ’ veseenbeaut i f ul f r i endshi psf or medi nWomen’ sGr oupLagosf ort hi sr eason.Anot her benef i ti st heexper i enceofshar edr eadi ng.Youar emor emot i vat edt o r eadabookwhent her ei sadeadl i neandwhenyouwantt obei nvol ved i nt heconver sat i on. Thel astbenef i tt hatcomest omi ndi st heexposur e yougetf r om di scussi ngbookswi t hot her s.Youl ear naboutnewgenr es andwr i t er sandal sol ear nhowdi ver seper spect i ves,i nt er pr et at i onsand opi ni onscanbe. How canbookcl ubshel ppeopl eenj oyr eadi ngmor eandbui l d bet t err eadi nghabi t s?How cant heyhel pr eader sbet t eri mmer se t hemsel vesi nst or i es? Whent her e’ sadat esetf orabookcl ubmeet i ng,youhavet ohaver ead t hebookt opar t i ci pat e.Nat ur al l y ,peopl edon’ twantt obel ef toutoft he di scussi on.Af t eraf ewmeet i ngs,youf i ndt hatyoumagi cal l yhavet he t i met or eadconsi st ent l ybecauseyouhavef or medahabi t .Tr eatr eadi ng asj ustt hat ,ahabi t .Youneedt odosomet hi ngoverandoveragai n,and i nt i me,t hatact i on,r out i neorr i t ualbecomesahabi t . Theexper i enceofshar edr eadi ngal l owsr eader st oi mmer set hemsel ves i nbooksbecauseoft hef eel i ngt hatyouar er eadi ngasacommuni t yand becauseyouwantt opaycl oseat t ent i ont ot henovelsot hatyoucan di scussi ti ngr eatdet ai l .Whenwedi scussbooks,i tgi vespeopl et he oppor t uni t yt or evi si tt henovel .I npr epar at i onf orabookcl ubmeet i ng, r esear chi ngt hebookandt hewr i t erandhi ghl i ght i ngpar agr aphsand sent encest hatyouf eelconnect edt ohel psyoubet t eri mmer seyour sel f i nwhatyour ead. How canbookcl ubshel pr eader sdi scovernew aut hor sandcr eat ea pl at f or mf oraut hor swhoar et ypi cal l yunder r epr esent ed? Mor eof t ent hannot ,your eadbooksyouhaven’ tr eadbef or ewhenyou’ r e i nabookcl ub.Thi si sbecauseever yonedeci deswhatbooksshoul dbe di scussedandi nevi t abl y ,t her ewi l lbesomet hi ngnew,nomat t erhow wel l r eadyouar e.Agr eatwayt odot hi si st odeci det of ocusonwr i t er s f r om apar t i cul arpar toft hewor l d,genr e,gender ,sexual i t y ,et c.When youdot hi s,youcanexpl or ewr i t er st hatf i twhat evercat egor yyou’ ve deci dedon.Focusi ngonwr i t er st hatf i twi t hi napar t i cul arcat egor ycan al socr eat eapl at f or mf orunder r epr esent edwr i t er s.Forexampl e,Af r i can queerwr i t er sar eof t enunder r epr esent ed.I fyoudeci det of ocusont hese wr i t er s,youi nt r oducenewr eader st ot hei rwor kandal sosuppor tt hem by buyi ngt hei rbooks. How dospacesl i keyour scr eat espacesf orpeopl ewi t hdi ver se i nt er est sorbackgr ounds? Women’ sGr oupLagospr i desi t sel fonbei nganaccessi bl eandsaf e spacef orwomeni nLagos.Ican’ tspeakf orot herbookr el at edgr oups, butIf ocusheavi l yonmaki ngsur eal lourevent sar ef r eeandonl y choosebookst hatar eeasi l yaccessi bl et opeopl et hatl i vei nLagos.Thi s meansnotsel ect i ngbookst hatar eexpensi vehar dbacksorbookst hat ar en’ tr eadi l yavai l abl ei nl ocalbookshops.Weal soensur et hatal l member sf eelcomf or t abl eshar i ngt hei ropi ni ons,i deasandbel i ef s wi t houtj udgementorf earofbei ngat t acked.Ul t i mat el y ,youhavet omake ani nt ent i onaldeci si ont oensur esaf et y . Whydoyout hi nkt hespaceyou' vecr eat edi nt heWomen' sGr oupi s i mpor t ant ? I nNi ger i a,womenar ever yr ar el yencour agedt ospeakoutandf or ge t hei rownpat hs.Wear ef or cedt oconf or m andar egi venver yf ewsaf et y net swhenwest r ayf r om whati sexpect ed.Li t er at ur ei sani mpor t ant suppor tf orwomenbecausei tal l owsust oshar eexper i ences,r ef l ecton ourexper i ences,oursoci et yandcul t ur es,andal sogi veswomena f r amewor kt hr oughwhi cht ounder st andt hewor l dar oundt hem.












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