The joy of reading
If you looked for me when I was young, you’d have found me curled up in a corner somewhere with my nose in a book. To me, it feels like I’ve always been able to read and I could certainly read before I went to school (my sister says she taught me). I don’t remember this, but apparently my uncle didn’t believe me and thought I’d just learned whatever it was I was reading out. So my parents told him to give me a book – any book. He gave me a car manual, pointed to a page and off I went.
At that age, I would get so engrossed in the story that the house could have burned down around me and I’d never have known. I’m not quite that oblivious now … unless it’s a really really good story … but the love of books and reading are still with me. I am always reading more than one book at a time – depending on what I’m in the mood for. As I write, I think I have four or five books on the go, more on the ‘still to read’ pile and a great long list of books to get hold of.
Books can take you to times and places you can only dream of, they can give you help and support when you most need it, they can introduce you to people you’d never otherwise meet and, of course, they can teach you.
When I was small, probably all of my reading was fiction. As I got older my interests and my studies led me into a broader range of reading material, from Silent Spring by Rachel Carson through No Time to Waste by Joan Davison to Earth in the Balance by Al Gore and on to How Bad are Bananas by Mike Berners-Lee. There is so much amazing literature out there, for all ages now.
I’m also a strong supporter of public libraries. Just as well otherwise I’d probably be bankrupt by now. In fact, since I moved to Darlington, I think I’ve saved myself something in the region of £400 by using the library. It’s one of the first places I join when I move somewhere new. The libraries in Darlington have a great selection of ‘green’ books and the librarians are always happy to help you find something.