There is an Arabian night’s tale of a poor merchant who discovered a grotto full of treasures belonging to some thieves by uttering a magic password “open sesame”. It is the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves.
Sometimes we run into seemingly ordinary peoples on life’s streets ostensibly scraping through a mundane existence but we would never have guessed in our wildest dreams the kind of adventures they live through daily.
One would be amazed that they have battled dragons and goblins, shared the round table with King Arthur, wondered at the grace of Guinevere, been amazed at the beauty of Helen of Troy, cast spells with Gandalf, fought in the trenches of world war 1, seen the onslaught of the Nazi machine being halted in Stalingrad, frolicked with elves and fairys, been part of the Californian gold rush, rubbed shoulders with Donald Trump, hobnobbed with Einstein, deliberated with John Maxwell, had lunch with Joel Osteen, had been part of a Pharaoh’s daily itinerary, witnessed the six day war, shed tears as Romeo died for Juliet, donned a Spartan war suit and fought against the Athenians, handled submachine guns alongside rebels, ridden on horses, galloped on camels, traversed deserts, hiked the arctic, trekked stars, traipsed the Amazon, seen a Samurai commit seppuku, fenced with Templers, been involved in the battles of angels and demons and parried the thrust of musketeers.

Like Alice, they pop into wonderlands through rabbit holes made  of papyrus; they enter new worlds through portals of ink. They have a fever from the bug of bibliophilia. They are bookworms, readers. For them turning the pages of a good tome is like Ali Baba saying open sesame and unlocking a cache of treasures beyond imagination (King David attested to this in one of his timeless poems by saying reading the words of the Good Book makes him as deliriously euphoric as one who happened upon invaluable jewels).


Our world would never have been complete without books. They are one of the few things that transcend the earthly. Books are eternal, even the heavens have a library. They are one of the best gifts God gave to man.

God presents himself to us in the Book. St Luke the physician tells us that before Jesus began his ministry, he read a biography about himself by the prophet Isaiah. Joshua was advised to meditate and obey a legal volume because it was the manual for prosperity and success. Timothy was told that to obtain God’s approval he had to study. I dare say that part of Paul’s missionary accomplishments can be attributed to books because even when he was staring death in the eye in a Roman prison, one of the last things he asked for was his parchments.

Books are powerful; Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” was a huge factor in the turning of sane nationals into genocidal Nazis. Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” made him a target for assassination. Harriet Beecham Stowe’s “Uncle Tom Cabins” is purported to have been part of the initiator of the American Civil war. Adam Smith’s “Wealth of nations” changed world economics forever. Darwin’s “Origin of species” still makes some people believe that human beings are the progeny of apes. Karl Max’s “Das Kapital” spearheaded world communism. Josiah’s men found a book during the renovation of Solomon’s temple and it sparked off a spiritual revolution in morally bankrupt and decadent Israel. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A BOOK!!!

The value of a good book is priceless; it enlarges your mental capacity and makes your mind more agile than Spiderman. It is actually inexplicable but a mental stretch akin to Bruce Banner becoming an intelligent Hulk from gamma irradiation or Reed Richards becoming Mr. Fantastic after being subjected to cosmic rays happens to one following the diligent perusal of a really nice book. For example after reading “From third world to first world, the Singapore story” by Lee Kuan Yew, something expanded within me. That is the wonder of a good book, whether it be fiction like Chimamanda’s “Half of a yellow sun” or a business book like Jim Collins “Good to Great”. A great read can change your life in more ways than one. Martin Luther started the protestant movement when he came across the verse “the just shall live by faith” in The Book.

Are you seeking for some heady experience, an exhilarating tour or a magical quest for knowledge? Go out of your way, pick up a good read today, opening its pages might just be like saying open sesame. You might discover things you never bargained for.


I posed a question to Seun Akinsanmi, the photographer I talked about in my post “The Kiss” about how he was able to discover treasures in the depths of the ocean of photography that his predecessors never found. I will never forget his answer! He paused for a minute and said in a contemplative voice “BOOKS, BOOKS ARE THE SHORTEST ROUTE!!!” I wasn’t surprised though; you should try and check out his library someday, the riches in the cave of the forty thieves has nothing on it!



8 thoughts on “OPEN SESAME

  1. i couldnt agree with you more.i was discussing this issue with friends in Nigeria the other day….how the culture of reading has disappeared amongst the young ones.i still have fond memories of my pacesetters,james hadley chase,harold robbins and stephen king stash from childhood.i discuss sometimes with my academic equals and sometimes question that equality(not vanity,i would confess)…its due to books.A BOOK IS A MASSAGE TO THE BRAIN


  2. I have traveled far and wide on the pages. Though I do not even remeber some titles but my mind never shrunk from the enlargement that came from those books.
    Books are the way to go.


  3. I cannot but agree that books are a source of knowledge and one of the ways to tap into what God has poured into different hearts,a little from each person/book and you are a wealth of wisdom. Most of the time,One person cannot receive all the wisdom, its been given to others to share and one of the easiest way to be a partaker is to read these revelations. Also, I can attribute some of my milestones as a child to early stimulation of my brain and mind through reading almost all the books I could lay my hands on from storybooks,novels,newspapers, magazines,the bible to mention a few. My family still wonders how I manage to garner some of these information but I know that my books are one of the assets; the bible says that Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.


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