Reading Around the Globe: Chinelo in Nigeria

(Last Updated On: June 19, 2019)


Welcome to Reading Around the Globe, a series here on Reader Voracious Blog geared at fostering a culture of understanding in the bookish community about access to books in various countries around the world. Each post in the series highlights a full interview with one international reader. You can read more about this series and catch up on previous interviews on the master post.

  1. What is your name? Chinelo
  2. Blog URL?ย
  3. Twitter handle? @Booked_Unicorn
  4. Where do you live? Nigeria
  5. Do you find that there is a culture of reading where you live? If not, tell us a bit how you came to be one! Yes there is and itโ€™s growing rapidly.
  6. What kinds of books do you enjoy reading? Fantasy, YA, NA, Contemporary, Sci-Fi, Afro-Futurism
  7. Have you always been a reader? Yes
  8. Do you also read books published in your native language/published locally to you? If so, tell us a bit about what kinds of books are published in your country!ย English is the primary language we speak, but sadly I cannot read any books in my Native tongue they are mainly published for schools as a tool for learning the language.
  9. Are there libraries where you live? If so, what kinds of books can you find there? Are you able to get the books that you want? There is a British council here but I am yet to explore it fully the last time I went there they had a wide range of children’s books.
  10. How prevalent are English published books where you live in bookstores? (For example, books printed by HarperCollins.) They are a lot of English published books here however..bookstores tend to have only bestsellers
  11. Do you use NetGalley or Edelweiss to request electronic galleys for review? If so, what kind of success rate would you estimate for you personally?ย Yes i use both, as do success rate I would say 60%.
  12. Do you experience hurdles or barriers to access for the kinds of books that you read? Please explain if so. Mainly the shipping fees to be paid are expensive and there arenโ€™t a lot of traders that have them.
  13. If you could make one change to the publishing landscape, what would you do?

    Consider publishing houses in African countries too.

  14. Help other international bloggers out… What resources do you use to obtain the books that you want to read? Amazon and AbeBooks
  15. Do you have any other experiences as a reader around the world that you would like to share? We have Book festivals in Lagos and Abuja and they are fun I am happy that they portray works from African writers. I encourage people to check them out too.

Please note that all experiences reflected in the interviews are personal and are not meant to generalize what reading access is like in each country.ย If you are interested in participating please DM me on Twitter.

๐Ÿ’– If you like the work that I do here at Reader Voracious, consider fueling my pumpkin spice latte and black tie addiction by buying me a ko-fi! โ˜•

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!



  1. Stephanie

    April 6, 2019 at 10:26 AM

    Fascinating as always, and it’s wonderful to meet you, Chinelo! Thanks for informing us what on what being a reader is like in Nigeria. I love this series so much!

    1. bookedunicorn

      April 8, 2019 at 8:02 AM

      HI Steph , Nice to meet you too.

    2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:29 PM

      Thank you so much for reading my interview with Chinelo!

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  3. Phantom Paper

    April 7, 2019 at 1:19 AM

    Haha, short and to the point ๐Ÿ˜ I never knew Nigerians spoke mainly English! It’s great to see that reading in Nigeria is better than some of the other countries because it’s quite bumming to hear so many countries worldwide not having good access. There’s a little hope!

    Also, I’m glad to meet someone else who has a good approval rate on Edelweiss, too. So many people put EW down and half of them have never even tried it out!

    1. bookedunicorn

      April 8, 2019 at 8:05 AM

      Haha.. i was quite worried that my answers were too short,i felt that long answers would bore people. Edelweiss scared me at first but i really wanted to read Joan He’s book and so i went for it. Thanks for reading.

      1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

        April 18, 2019 at 4:54 PM

        Edelweiss is daunting as heck, so I don’t blame you hahahaa.

    2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:33 PM

      I also didn’t know about English being so prevalent in Nigeria, so that was cool to learn! My approval rating works out to the same as it is on NetGalley, between 70 and 80%, but again I am in the US so I don’t think I count hehe. EW is lovely though and I have heard from so many international readers that they get better luck there!

      1. Phantom Paper

        April 27, 2019 at 11:53 AM

        Hahaha, it’s still good to know info from all sides! I’m genuinely glad to hear that international readers are being well treated on EW! Finally, people are not putting EW down. Especially when they’ve never even given it an honest try! Looks like these 2 are the main platforms for e-ARCs. Although, I saw on twitter that people were saying that NG is costlier than EW. I was surprised! I see much more indie books on NG, so, how come? Could it be that they market themselves better, that they’re more well-known in the writing community?

  4. Michelle

    April 7, 2019 at 1:46 PM

    Hi Chinelo! So cool to read about the bookscene in Nigeria. It sucks that shipping costs are so high ๐Ÿ™ I don’t think I’ve read many books from African authors, are there any young adult, or sci-fi/fantasy/contemporary that you’d recommend?

    1. bookedunicorn

      April 8, 2019 at 8:09 AM

      Hi Michelle…Boy oh boy do i have a lot to recommend to you. First of my favorite author Nnedi okorafor, i recommend (every single thing she has written) Home and who fears death. Half a yellow son by Chimamanda Adichie and My sister the serial killer by oyinkan Braithwaite. I hope you enjoy

      1. Michelle

        April 10, 2019 at 2:29 AM

        Oh I think I heard about My sister the serial killer! I’ll definitely be checking all of these out. Thank you so much!

    2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:54 PM

      Shipping costs are seriously so incredibly prohibitive and it is such a bummer.

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  6. proudbookreviews

    April 7, 2019 at 11:22 PM

    I find it amazing how the reading culture can be seen as declining in Western cultures where we take reading for granted. Yet in a country many people would consider as third world or developing reading is on the rise. What a great interview. Thank you!

    1. bookedunicorn

      April 8, 2019 at 8:12 AM

      I’m also happy that its rising, its one of he things i looked forward to when i came back home. Thanks for reading

    2. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 4:01 PM

      You totally bring up an interesting point, and I definitely agree with you. I for one refuse to take reading for granted and I hope to be able to move the needle a bit for international readers. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. TheCaffeinatedReader

    April 8, 2019 at 3:54 AM

    Great to read about your reading experiences in Nigeria! A shame that they don’t have more than the best sellers and that charging is probably extortionate for shipping. I do hope that someone will see the growing trend of reading and put some publishing houses your way <3 thank you for sharing with us!

  8. Jennifer Pletcher

    April 9, 2019 at 2:06 AM

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  10. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer

    April 18, 2019 at 1:58 PM

    How neat! Nice to meet you Chinelo!! โค๏ธ I have a friend moving to Africa for a year and he is super excited! How disappointed he will be that everyone speaks English! Hahaha. Shipping is such a problem. Book Depository is my go to for books because of the free shipping and the discounted cover prices sometimes, but you have to wait a month or two for the brand new books. >.< Happy reading!

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