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8 Book Lovers Share How Their Fathers Inspired Their Love For Reading

8 Book Lovers Share How Their Fathers Inspired Their Love For Reading

As a child, my love for reading was sparked by the unwavering support and encouragement of my parents, particularly my father, who played a significant role in nurturing this passion within me. I have vivid memories of him bringing home newspapers every day, and it was through those pages that I discovered a column by Mike Awoyinfa in The Sun Newspaper. Little did I know that this encounter would shape my literary journey in profound ways.

Recognizing my growing interest, my father further fostered it by introducing me to the remarkable works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He took a personal interest in purchasing her books and eagerly shared her interviews, ensuring that I had ample material to explore. Even during his busy schedule, my father always made it a point to include books among the items he brought back for us. I cannot recall a single instance during my upbringing when I expressed a desire for books that he did not fulfil.

Inspired by these cherished memories and the lasting impact they have had on my life, I decided to write this article as a tribute not only to my own father but also to other fathers who have inspired their children’s love for reading. The response to my call-out was overwhelming, reaffirming the profound influence fathers can have on shaping their children’s literary journeys.

The stories poured in, each one a testament to the power of a father’s love and dedication. Let me share these personal accounts that highlight how fathers have ignited a love for reading in their children, fostering a lifelong appreciation for literature and learning.


My father bought me books as a child and encouraged both me and my siblings to read. He would discuss African authors with us, and it was through him that I discovered Chimamanda’s “Thing Around Your Neck.” As I grew older, he bought me first-edition copies of “Americanah” and “There Was A Country,” which played a pivotal role in shaping my identity, inspiring my feminism, and nurturing my dream to become a writer. To this day, he still discusses books with me, and I credit him and my mother for instilling in me a love for books.


My father’s own love for books ignited my passion for literature and writing. His diverse collection, spanning from popular authors like James Hadley Chase, Harold Robbins, and Chinua Achebe to books on psychology, culture, geography, and computers, exposed me to endless possibilities. Inspired by his devotion to reading and writing, I became a book lover and pursued my dream of becoming a writer. His influence on my literary journey is immeasurable, and I am forever grateful for the gift of books he shared with me.


When I was younger, my father bought me books from the Pacesetter series, African Writers Series, and more. I vividly remember him purchasing Chinua Achebe’s books for me, and though I no longer know where those books are, I have fond memories of them scattered throughout our house. My love for reading, shared by my brothers, stems from those early experiences. My youngest brother, in particular, is always engrossed in a book, with little time for social media distractions.


While my father wouldn’t buy us toys, he made sure we had storybooks to read. I recall a time when I expressed my desire to write stories, and he promptly bought me a big notebook to fill with my imagination.


My father bought me my first book, “Chike and the River” by Chinua Achebe. After I devoured it quickly and explained it to him, he was delighted and began buying me more books. Now, my siblings often find themselves lost when we discuss books and their themes!


Education held immense importance for my dad. I can’t recall when he started buying books for me, but I do remember his pride when I began reading at just 4 years old. From that point on, he consistently brought more and more books into our home. He would ask me to share the story with him, and his pleasure was evident in those moments.


My father was determined to make me an avid reader, especially since he only completed primary school himself. To encourage my reading habit, he devised a plan: he paid me 100 naira for every book I read and successfully summarized. Initially, the payment excited me, but as time went on, I became genuinely interested in reading and no longer needed the incentive. He continued to support my reading journey by gifting me books for doing well in school and on birthdays. I always remind him that I owe my bookworm status to his early encouragement.


My father is a voracious reader, and I still recall him walking in every day after work with a newspaper in his hands. My love for books began with reading fictional story pieces by a columnist in those newspapers. The suspenseful stories written in parts captivated me, and I found myself increasingly drawn to the emotions that reading evoked. My dad’s personal library inspired me, and he would always encourage me to pick a book and read it, reminding me that “readers are leaders.” In fact, I initiated reading clubs in both my primary and secondary schools due to his influence.


These heartfelt accounts highlight the profound impact fathers have on their children’s love for reading. Whether it’s through buying books, engaging in discussions, providing writing materials, or creating incentives, fathers play a crucial role in instilling a passion for literature. The stories shared by book lovers serve as a reminder of the lasting influence fathers have in nurturing a lifelong appreciation for books and the world of imagination. Through their unwavering support and dedication, fathers inspire their children to embark on literary journeys that shape their lives. 

You can get these books for your father: From Storeroom to Boardroom and The House My Father Built.

About the Writer: Precious Obiabunmo is a graduate of English and Literature at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. She’s the Digital Content/Community Manager at Kachifo Limited. Connect with her on LinkedIn

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

One Response

  1. Heartwarming imaginary writeups here. My own father’s roles has formed larger part of my Life and character. I’m most lucky!

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