Thursday, 6 March 2014

World Book Day

World Book Day seems to be a good excuse to blog about book and reading.

I was a slow starter at reading, much of my time at Infants School was spent struggling through the first two colours of the reading scheme.  I had trouble moving on - I recognised the letters and could read the words but it was all painfully slow.  By the time I got to Junior School I was way behind my peers and where I should have been.  For a while I even had remedial reading lessons but there was no discernible improvement.  One teacher even suggested to my parents that I was 'slow' - this incensed my father who insisted on seeing another teacher to get to the root of the problem!  Luckily they managed to scrape him off the ceiling and all was well.

Then a light seemed to go off in my head and I began to read all the time.  It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it happened but I know why.  I was read a fantastic book at school.  Our classroom teacher, Mr Ellis, read The Hobbit to us as a  class and I was hooked.  I loved the story and wanted the reading to go on and on; there was never long enough and that awful moment when he closed the book came far too soon.

The first book I remember reading independently was The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and it fired my love of losing myself in a book which is still with me to this day.  There is nothing better than disappearing into another world for a few hours - or even days.  I tend to read fiction rather than non-fiction - I think I lack the patience to stick with them, it's easier to vanish into a fictional world than read about real things.

Some books stay with you for life.  We all have our favourites and I could read some books over and over, and I have!  This always baffles my husband who isn't a great fiction reader.  If I've read it once and know what's in it and what happens, how can I read it again and lose myself in the story again?   I don't know why or how but I can and do!  Among my favourites are Wuthering Heights which I must have read 6 times at least; The Night Circus, just the most fascinating fantasy novel which I fully intend to read again soon; To Kill A Mockingbird, powerful, thought provoking and touching; 1984, a terrifying vision of hiow the world might have been; Being Dead, moving, shocking and heart warming with an usual narrative.  I'm currently enjoying Wolf Hall which is taking me back to the court of Henry VIII and dragging me into the world of Thomas Cromwell - such a treat to read about a period in history I'm familiar with in a fresh way and from a different perspective.  It's also well written which makes it a joy to read.

Here's hoping that we all enjoy a good read on World Book Day.