Last Saturday, that is on April 21, 2012, I resumed the book-buying spree from where I left off the previous Saturday, April 13, 2012. One may wonder if I had perhaps come into some money; an inheritance or a windfall, or a salary increase. Neither of these. The much awaited single spine salary is yet to feel heavy in my pocket (those of us who are administrators in the public universities are having a hard time with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission) and the sighting of the first cedis could be now or never (certainly not).
So, as I was saying, I resumed the spree, armed with some few cedis I had stashed away for emergency situations; I was determined to acquire some more Classics and the YA books my boy who completed his JHS only this Monday and is now at home, bored to tears. The boys and I visited the University of Ghana Bookshop, Legon, knowing that we would certainly get what we wanted this time. And what a Classic feast! Before our eyes, or should I say my eyes, since the boys were certainly not interested in my Classics, were stacks and stacks of unabridged Classics for me to choose from, and at affordable prices too! So, much to the consternation of the gang following me, I took my precious time and browsed to my heart’s desire, after which I selected the following: The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy), Kidnapped and Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson), Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens), Prisoner of Zenda ( Anthony Hope) and Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen); these were selected for the Classics Club. I also bought for my relaxation, (and to feed my insatiable taste for thrillers, legal/crime/mystery fiction and mafia) Robert Tanenbaum’s Act of Revenge, the author’s finest and most dramatically rich novel to date. (well, so says the information in the inside flap of the novel). unfortunately, the Bookshop did not have Anna Karenina or any Russian lit in stock. I may have to substitute something else, perhaps, Tess of the D’Urbervilles for the Classic Romance category of the Back To The Classics Challenge.
Needless to say, YA books did not feature on the shelves in the bookshop, well, with the exception of a few Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys series, most of which have been voraciously read by Cedric, the young graduate. You see, he is an avid reader, like his mum. As we say in Ghana, the crab does not give birth to the bird. But then, I am sure my problem of not getting some books for him is mainly because he has read almost all the books on display in the two bookshops we visited. He is only fourteen years after all; the definition of YA might also play a part here. There are some good books for young readers by Ghanaian authors but I am afraid he has passed that stage and he would want more challenging reads.
And so, the only option left for us is to go to EPP bookshop, which has many branches in Accra, for the YA books. This would have to be after pay-day, mind you. If we do not get any suitable books for him, then we would probably come to a compromise; he would be introduced to African Writers Series, which I had intended him to start at age fifteen. Not far off, anyway.