I’ve been staring at the word which I need to engage with for this blog for some time. I even got up from my office chair and walked around the flat chanting it in order to evoke some sort of divine intervention. Unfortunately, nothing arrived so I am going to just write randomly for the next few minutes in order to reach the daily blog requirement!
I think I want to share with you how I discovered the joy of reading.
As I was growing up I quickly realised that it was not a good idea to tell my mum that I was bored. If you uttered these words in my family there would be a list of jobs you could occupy yourself with within a blink of an eye! I was often bored when I was younger. I still consider that I have an overactive brain that really does not like to stop working, even when I am willing myself to sleep late at night.
The local library was some distance away and, without a car in the family, we would walk to it at least once a month. It was definitely a grand outing as we all set off, my mum leading the charge with me and my four siblings following behind in some random formation, accompanied by the usual taunting and tapping just to annoy each other.
When we arrived at the library, silence ensued. We all put our fingers to our lips to enforce the silence and headed off to the bookshelves. However, on one occasion, my mum held me back and walked me towards the librarian behind the check out counter. My mum gave her a simple instruction – please give him something which he will enjoy reading!
I think I had always disliked reading because the stories which had been supplied to me through the school reading books were dull and well predictable. The only thing I remember of them was that there was a dog and cat called Nip and Fluff and, I think the only reason I remembered this was because we had two cats named after them.
I remember the librarian smiling down at me, I’m not sure how old I was, but she said she had the perfect book for me and she handed me Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising. BOOM!! As soon as I started to read it, I was enthralled. I read it from cover to cover and I remember my mum actually telling me at times to stop reading and eat or sleep. The story was so captivating, the characters real and it was laced with just the right amount of mystery and magic. After that book, I always knew which shelf of the library to visit. Anything to do with mystery, magic, fantasy and science fiction would grab my attention and invade my imagination. I had discovered the joy of reading!
I sometimes long for those reading days back. I remember I read the Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings in one day while camping! Now the majority of my reading is confined to academic journals and books but I still indulge my passion for fantasy and science fiction by listening to audiobooks.
As a teacher I have always been keen to share the engaging books I have found and read. I am, and will always will be, a keen advocate of reading to children because I believe that it is through being read to that our imaginations first get awakened to a great story.
And the moral of this post? Well always search and keep searching. The next week, the next page of a book or the next paragraph, sentence or even word might be the point which captivates you and leads you away from reality for that wonderful moment when we are once more in our imagination of our childhood.