Readers on Reading: Tomi Obaro

Tomi ObaroTomi Obaro is a journalist in Chicago who writes about the arts, race, and cultural identity (among lots of others things- my wife’s tattoo, for example) with wit and insight. You can keep up with Tomi’s writing at her blog, Race riter.

What books are you currently reading?

The Remains of the Day by Kashuro Ishiguro and Money: A Suicide Note by Martin Amis. Though I’ll keep it real, the reading has been really slow-going. So many people have raved about The Remains of the Day and Martin Amis’s name comes up so often, but I just haven’t taken to either books as organically as say, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P [by Adelle Waldman]. That was a great, amusing—if very navel-gazing—read.

Where is your favorite place to read?

In coffee shops with my headphones on. I like the visual stimulation, but not the noise.

E-reader or codex?

For a long time, I always thought I was going to be a ride-or-die dead tree lugger, but books are heavy! I may have to look into a Kindle.

What book have you recommended the most in the past 12 months?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  If someone were to ask me who I was, I would tell them to read Americanah. It’s on that list.

What is most enjoyable about your reading life?

It’s sad because even though I read more now than I ever did before, so much of it is ephemeral, nonfiction Internet stuff. Which, I mean, I love. And I practice. But I get so easily distracted now. So when I get those rare moments where a book just hooks me, where I can’t eat or sleep because it’s that’s good—those are the moments I treasure.

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