Books offer different things to different people. For some, books offer an escape. For some they offer a different vantage point. For others, entertainment. For others, peace. For some like me, all of the above, and then some!

I enjoy hearing people’s perspectives. Books allow me to do that easily, at my pleasure. From time to time, books leave me pondering, often long after I have finished reading them.

One of those books is titled Dust by Yvonne Awuor Adhiambo. She’s an immensely gifted author and a recipient of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Years after reading her book, I am still pondering.

Ah, what’s that you say?

A problem half shared is a problem half…

Say no more. I shall throw this to you. Yvonne writes in her book:

Everyone has at least four secrets;

  • One secret can only be repeated to God.
  • The second is buried in between life and death, to be retrieved at the time of a man’s most important life decision.
  • The third is the one you sell to buy your oldest longing.
  • The fourth is the name you baptise your death with.”

Indulge me.

Ponder over these four secrets. Can you answer each with certainity?

More importantly, what do books do for you?


  1. For me, books are multiple verse of the multiverse we live in, if you’ll pardon the pun. But like you, I like getting into the mindset of the characters. I’m a consciousness kind of guy, and the world needs characters. Thank you A.B. Ari

    1. Hey Ari!

      “Multiple verse of the multiverse we live in. ” I couldn’t agree more!

      Thank you for making time, Ari😊

      Stay safe.

  2. Wow, AB, those were tricky questions! I think I understand a couple, but maybe not. πŸ™‚ Books are where I go when I want to go somewhere else. You can’t lose yourself in the internet like you can in your imagination. Maybe that’s why internet is so tiring, because we’re always processing the information through a judging channel instead of a creating channel. Books relax me more, so I read before bed. I know I’m ready for sleep when that book hits me on the nose. I’ve learned to read smaller books! (ouch)

    1. Hey Jensen πŸ˜ƒ

      Those truly are some challenging thinking points!

      You said it best! Books teleport us into universes we otherwise would never have visited.

      Ouch! I hope your nose is alright now πŸ˜‚

      Thank you for making time 😊

  3. Great thought provoking post 😊. For me books are a great outlet transporting you to a different place in your mind. Nothing like relaxing with a cuppa over a good book that grabs your attention. During this pandemic, I’ve taken up poetry writing and love picking it and reading through relatable descriptive poems πŸ˜ŠπŸ“–

  4. I can only identify one of those secrets. Moreover, I can’t decide if it’s the first kind or the last on your list.

    Books for me are usually an escape from reality, taking me places where the mundane doesn’t exist.

  5. Books and writing all together have changed the way I react and think. I believe if you’re still reading and writing in these times then you’re indeed a rare breed. Tv isn’t necessary. Books are heavy but knowledge has no weight πŸ“š Vibe high todayπŸš€

    1. Hey BZA!

      Heavier wisdom was never dropped in these comments!

      “Books are heavy but knowledge has no weight.”

      Powerful πŸ™ŒπŸΏπŸ™ŒπŸΏπŸ™ŒπŸΏ

  6. Books (reading) and writing are like two sides of coin. They complete each other. If books are the place to escape from cruel world, then writing is the way to reflect and rethinking of what I read.

  7. For me, reading helps gain different perspectives to situations. I like to have a plan A,B,C and D when facing some situations. There is always someone somewhere who went through what you are going through, good or bad and they handled it in someway… and thankfully wrote about it. Helps me a lot. Thumbs up to all authors.

  8. The fourth is the name you baptise your death with… I’m still thinking about what this really means.
    When last year came to an end I knew for certain I wanted two things the most. One of those things was to start a personal home library. I am obsessed now more than ever to have my house filled with books on shelves all around the room. I want people to gasp when they come into my world of books. Books offer an escape, they offer perspectives, they make you fit in other people’s shoes, they make you dream and want more, they are beauty in pages.
    Books for me are life. I hope everyone experiences joy when they read books.

  9. Books are a gateway into the mind and soul of another being. I love books although I’m a painfully slow reader – so I have to choose wisely! Those 4 secrets are tough to answer Billy – certainly got me pointlessly over thinking! Great post buddy. Wishing you well πŸ™

    1. Hey APπŸ˜ƒ

      I see what you did there πŸ˜‚

      I too, am still pondering over those four secretsπŸ€”

      It’s good to hear from you, buddy.

      Stay safe.

  10. Books – best invention ever! Since I was a little troubled kid, they have helped me escape to happier places and helped me come back stronger for another go at real life. They’ve given me a love of knowledge for its own sake, a hunger for new words and beautiful phrases. They’ve taught me most of what I know and my only regret about books is that I shall never manage to read them all…

    1. Hey!

      I feel you. There are so many books but so little time. Books truly outlive us. The best we can do is read as much as we can while we can.

      1. Sorry for the delay in replying – been away digging things (and not reading as much as I’d like). Yes, they will outlive us and that’s a good thing because my kids will hopefully get to read amazing stuff, even if I don’t. The kids are not quite avid readers, but they do like books, and I’m hopeful they will eventually get the same pleasure I’ve experienced from my reading life! Keep up the great work!

      2. Hey!

        It’s good to hear from you!

        Give them time, soon, they will soon give you a run for your money πŸ˜‚

        Thank you for making time 😊

  11. Those are very tricky questions indeed! I feel that my secrets cannot be bound in the definitions others use for the keeping and the naming. Sometimes they are like a carefully cultivated herb garden, ever replenishing and handed out with great care to the like-minded only for the price of love well shared. Sometimes they are like a blackmailer I discovered never need be feared, and I find then there was only the illusion of a secret there after all. Sometimes they are virulent indeed for a time, with the power to wound and destroy, but can be dropped more casually by the wayside as their potency wanes. As I think about it, I find they are not stable enough to take such a snapshot. Perhaps they prefer a parade less restrained than a few meager sentences from me can describe.

    Books for me can be like secrets, taking whatever form is required of them. When I was young, I mentally wrote plot lines for myself into all of my favorite books. If I hated an ending, I mentally wrote an alternate. I have learned from them, argued with them, treasured them, and wasted hours of my life with some of them. They are sometimes an enduring passion, and sometimes an easily dropped fling. Wishing you the best of health and writing, πŸ™‚ Ari

    1. Hey AriπŸ˜ƒ

      I see you’ve been an active co-creator in all the books you’ve been reading πŸ˜‚

      I love your metaphor around a “cultivated herb garden”. So unique!

      It’s good to hear from you πŸ˜ƒ

      Stay safe 😊

      1. This is going to sound terrible and a bit snotty, but I assure you I don’t mean it to. Some of them needed a lot of co-creating from my perspective because I really hated the endings πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚ But I won’t co-create in that way and drop book names because I know those authors didn’t really write the endings to please me, that was their vision as it should have been. And I can honor that. Thank you very much for wishing me safety, I wish you the same plus hopes for as much happiness as you can find on the journey. 😊 Ari

  12. I find myself reading books that help me deal with my own life crises. Books help me relate and figure problems out. It’s quite a strange thing to walk into someone else’s life (in a book), someone else’s historical crises. And find a new perspective in dealing with it.

  13. Those are four rip-roaring questions! I don’t think at this moment in time I have answers to all four of them. Maybe the first and the third, but the second and fourth are more difficult.

    I love books for their ability to take me far away from here, into fantasy worlds, even different versions of our own earth. I love reading what other people have learned and thinking critically about what they are trying to say. I love books for the way they provide windows into perspectives as yet unseen, and the way the different arrangement of the same words on a page can mean so many different things.

    Thank you for sharing this brilliantly thought provoking writing, and encouraging honest response.

    Peace to you my friend, and I hope you continue to go well into this week. ✨

    1. Hey Hamish πŸ˜ƒ

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

      Books absolutely teleport us into different vortexes!

      Thank you for making time 😊

      Stay well, my friend.

Leave a Reply