Growing up in Lagos, the closest library to my house was an hour’s drive away. It was a private library, moderately well stocked and tidily catalogued but you could only borrow one book at a time. If you have to drive an hour each time you want to borrow a book, you’re going to borrow the biggest books in the library.
This meant that I almost always borrowed European classics. They had dull covers with obscure oil paintings on them. Their print was too small and I didn’t know what whist or barouches were but these books were hundreds and hundreds of pages long. I always rued the days I let the glossy covers of Nancy Drew and the Famous Five lure me into checking them out. These books could be finished on the way home if traffic was particularly bad.