Book club: Book Club

Book club: Book Club

Book club, Ochieng Otieno, poet, environmentalist, author. Photo | Pool

Books are my source of inspiration and a run-to whenever I am feeling low. Engineering course work and assignments can be difficult but when I sit with a book whether fiction or nonfiction I get rejuvenated.

Ochieng Otieno, Egerton engineering Student, a poet, an environmentalist, playwright and a two times author.  He is the founder of Gudboy book soup. Photo | Pool

I developed a taste in books back in primary school when I read “I'll be back shortly” by Frank Odoi. I've never been to the moon but by reading books I have been to heaven. Traveling to unknown lands have been made easy through reading. My best book so far has been THINK BIG by my silent mentor Dr. Ben Carson. This book encourages and challenges me.

Depending on the size of the book, contents and my school schedule, I read a minimum of five books a month. I mostly read at night or whenever I need rejuvenation.

Because of the many numbers of books I read, I realised the need to form a book club. First, because I could not afford to buy all the books and secondly for accountability. We meet, exchange books, purchase books and sell to one another.

After reading a particular book drawn from any genre, we discuss and critique the content and the author. As a club, we highly discourage soft copy books as this denies the author their right to bag in some income from the sweat and time spent writing the book.

Notably, we also receive donations of books from the members of the club or our friends. Currently we are 12 members although we are open for new membership. As an author, whenever a sale of my book is done, a share of it is used to buy books to help build a reading nation.

This month, we are reading my poetry collection SOUNDS FROM THE DARK. This is a collection of poems that explores various themes including politics, relationships and mental health.

The lessons picked from it so far is the failure of voters to elect responsible leaders. We are delving on those failures and what we can do better especially now that the next elections are neigh.