Read ‘til you drop. Nigerian sets new Guinness world record by reading aloud for five days

Nigerian Olubayode Tresures Olawunmi read from some seventeen books during a 120 hour reading marathon in Lagos this past week, reading aloud non-stop Monday through Friday, bar permitted two hour breaks every 24 hours.

The previous record, 113 hours and fifteen minutes, was set in 2008 by Deepak Sharma Bajaan from India, but the new record in Nigeria puts almost seven hours on top, and may well stand for some while.

The latest Guinness record attempt was sponsored by Nigeria’s GT Bank, a familiar brand across West Africa, as part of the GT Bank YouRead project to encourage literacy and reading across the continent.

All the books selected for the marathon were from African authors.

Olawunmi began reading at 1.30pm Monday and finished, allowing for the permitted two hour beaks (accumulated from twenty-minute breaks provided for under the rules), the following Saturday at 3.30pm, with a total reading time of five days over the six day period.

Nigeria’s Premium Times reports that Olawumni’s wife Tosin was not impressed when she heard her husband’s plan.

I had just returned from work one night when he told me he wanted to read for 120 hours and I just walked past. I told him what mattered most was putting cash on the table, settling the bills and not book reading. I told him to jettison the idea because it made no sense.

The report does not tell us if Tosin warmed to the idea after her husband broke the world record.

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