The Magic of Reading
27th June 2022

I remember being taught to read at school. I remember not getting it right and I remember my teacher hitting me on the hand with a ruler when I got a word wrong. I didn’t want to try to read because when I made a mistake the punishment was ridicule. I actually started to hate the smell of books. I knew that I couldn’t access them so I wanted to put them to one side. I also remember my sister making up the most fantastic stories and being enthralled by the stories that she made up. I really started to love books though when my local library started offering headphones and stories on tape that I could listen to. I then spent many a rainy day listening to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or the Chronicles of Narnia. It was like a magic world opened up to me. After this I started to want to read the books myself.

I absolutely love reading now but if you could have told my six year old self that I would love reading I would never have believed you.

In terms of books that have had an impact on me, here are a few:

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Small Island by Andrea Levy

The Famished Road by Ben Okra

Everything that Douglas Coupland has written

Home Going by Yea Gyasi

Books cross boundaries and allow us access to places that we would other wise not go to.