Author Ben Okri’s ‘Ten and a Half Inclinations’

In ‘Ten and a Half Inclinations’, author Ben Okri makes a compelling case for reading. Every child must read this powerful piece of advice from Ben Okri – an acclaimed Nigerian novelist and poet – best known for his novel ‘The Famished Road’. Put this up in your school library for all children to see, or read it out to them.

1. There is a secret trail of books meant to inspire and enlighten you. Find that trail.
2. Read outside your own nations, colour, class and gender.
3. Read the books your parents hate.
4. Read the books your parents love.
5. Have one or two authors that are important, that speak to you; and make their works your secret passion.
6. Read widely, for fun, stimulation and escape.
7. Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out later, cautiously.
8. Read what you’re not supposed to read.
9. Read for your own liberation and mental freedom.
10. Books are like mirrors. Don’t just read the words. Go into the mirror. That is where the real secrets are. Inside. Behind. That’s where the gods dream, where are realities are born.
10 1/2. Read the world. It is the most mysterious book of all.

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