I Spent the Boxing Day at The Jazzhole

If you are a book lover and haven’t been to this pleasantly old-fashioned bookshop, you miss the boat daily.

I had visited virtually all the bookshops on the Island part of Lagos except The Jazzhole. I guess I was unconsciously saving the best for the last?

I set up a meeting with a friend. He wanted to meet at The Traffic bar and restaurant Ikoyi. I suggested a first stop at The Jazzhole. Best decision ever.

I felt light-headed immediately I walked into the shop. You know that giddy feeling? It was almost orgasmic. If there is anything I love in this world, it is the smell of books. The day immediately became 10 times more awesome. I stood still for a while to take it all in.

“Hello, you are welcome.” One of the store-guide said as she cheerfully made her way to me.

“Oh don’t worry, I will show myself around when I’m ready”.

I was in there well over an hour before I realized that I had piles of books yet to be read. “Should you be buying more books?” “Why don’t you finish the ones you have already?” My very tight pocket screamed. But you spoke late small bag? I’m in already. You should have spoken before I got here!

I went through the aisles like a little boy in a toy shop. One book at a time, with a thousand feelings. I tried not to sniff the books. I swear. I tried.

I have been to several bookshops, but the old-fashioned feel and look on this one cannot be rivaled by any other. How does a place so unassuming from the outside, be this awesome on the inside?

The Jazzhole is located at 168 Awolowo road, Ikoyi Lagos. I learned it has been there since 1995. It is also a music store as well as a record store. It also stocks tickets of some concerts and events happening in Lagos.

And did I mention the coffee shop? It has a quaint coffee shop, offering about 40 varieties of tea, coffee, and espresso. I opted for a glass of orange juice while I sat down to read a copy of Nnedi Okorafor’s ‘Akata Warrior’. I lost track of time. It was almost 8:30 pm. I didn’t want to leave until my friend suggested we leave for The Traffic bar and restaurant.

They didn’t have two of Lionel Shriver’s books that I wanted to buy, but I placed an order with the management and they promised to have it in next week. You bet. I am going back next week. And most likely every other fortnight… The mothership. I am finally home!

I slept in most of Christmas day, it was calming. Yesterday was fun. The Traffic is an amazing hangout spot. But, the highlight of my day was The Jazzhole.

Dear God, all I want in life is… Books. Money for books. A library full of books. Books. A man who loves to read, at least half as much as I do. A child who is a voracious reader. Books. More books. Books.

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