If you were to judge your favorite book by its cover, would you still read it?
My first encounter with one of my favorite books was my first year at senior high school. My literature teacher came in and listed the books we were supposed to buy for the three year period of studies. Some of the books were Shakespeare’s ‘’The merchant of Venice’’, ‘’Weep not Child’’ by Ngugi Wa thiong’o and selected poems by African writers like Wole Soyinka and many others.
Since I was in a boarding school, I soon made a call to my parents to buy the books since we were given a time frame. Soon my books arrived and since my favorite subject was English literature, I soon started looking though the books.
One book with a yellow cover and a picture of a man with thick lenses on the cover stood out. This was not because it had an attractive cover, far from it. The book looked ordinary and did not attract any attention but there was a title that screamed out in red. I was intrigued by the title ‘’The gods are not to blame’’. I wanted to know what this book was about and what made the author title the book this way.
I soon found out the book was a play written by a Nigerian writer called Ola Rotimi and it is an adaptation of a play entitled ‘’Oedipus Rex’’ by Sophocles. This book is a tragedy about a prince whose destiny was foretold at birth that he would kill his father and marry his mother. As he grew up he run from home as not to fulfill this destiny but he ended up doing exactly that.
For me what made this book one of my favorite was the rich Nigerian/ African culture portrayed in the book as well as the many African proverbs used. My literature class always came to life when we debated about whether the protagonist of the story was to blame for his tragic end or it was destiny. I loved every bit of those debates.
Judging this book by the cover, I don’t think I would have given this book a blink in a book store. What drew me to this book was the title and the fact that it was a must for school but today it is one of my all-time favorite books.