I have always adored books, and have devoured them since I was tiny. As a child I was read to by a parent every single night, I was allowed to select 3 books, and would cunningly select the longest ones.
We didn't have much spare money, so we would use charity shops, libraries, summer fairs and carboots to indulge my habit. I remember having to visit the library every Saturday as I would have finished the six chapter books I had selected the week before. I even had to move library as I'd read them all!
As a teen, me and my Dad would read a couple of poems to each other on the phone every night.
I have always felt incredibly lucky to have been given the gift of reading from my parents.
This start in life eventually led me to become a primary teacher, always happiest working with the most challenging children; those who often aren't lucky enough to have parents who bestow the gift of loving books to them. I then side-stepped and was a secondary school librarian, again working with children who often didn't come from literature-rich backgrounds.
I have also worked twice at a summer camp for disadvantaged girls and ran the library and literature classes there. Even 15 year old teens can enjoy a bedtime story if its the right book!
For me, its hard to ignore the cliches; reading opens worlds and opportunities. But it really does.
Now that I'm away from education and teaching reading, I can sometimes forget how crucial my love of books has been. I have a long term goal to start my own reading charity, but that won't be for a while yet!
So for now, I'm running a little online book group, called Books Rocks, which came about via Twitter and Facebook. It gives me an excuse to think about books again!
I selected the first book, The Hunger Games as it has to be one of my favourite reading experiences ever, and I have read a heck of a lot of books. It is a teen book, and it is perfectly described as unputdownable. It is actually a trilogy, but all of them were read just as quickly! I was so pleased that everyone who read it as part of Books Rocks also loved them!