What was your favourite book as a child? Did it influence the person you are now?
There’s too many to choose from! I’m thirsty for knowledge and I think that’s a direct result of the number of books I read as a child. I was constantly reading; I used to read under the covers with a torch when I’d been sent to bed! I love books and if I see something, I have to read it. The side of a cereal box, the political pamphlet that came through the door, the blurb on the back of a book I need to read for work and the back of the bottle of baby bubble bath are all things I’ve read in the last hour since little B went to bed! I don’t really mind what books I’m reading either; I know I’ve complained about it here, but I actually really enjoyed doing all the reading for my SENCO course (it’s just the essay writing I can’t stand!). I love getting stuck into a good novel or a guilty bit of chick-lit. Doesn’t matter as long as I’m reading.
It frustrates me so much that we don’t have time for more reading at school and that the children in my class just don’t seem to be very fussed about books – they’d rather watch a film or play on a computer console. It frustrates me because I think they’re missing out. There’s nothing better than losing yourself in a book for a couple of hours; the characters springing to life in your imagination and feeling bitterly disappointed when you have to come back to the real world. I’ve always got a book on the go, whether it’s a physical or virtual copy doesn’t matter and I’ve found that the tablet is a godsend when my carpel tunnel is playing up and I can barely hold a book. I wonder if reading will be one of those things that these children discover later in life. A couple of generations ago, children used to learn to sew in school but that’s gone and now there’s a huge number of people taking up crafts later in life as a hobby. Will this also happen with reading or is it something that you need to instil a love for at an early age to hook them in before they’re lost forever?
Whilst doing my best at school to get the kids to love books, I’m doing a better job at home – my love of books has already been passed on to little B, his current favourites are ‘We’re Going On a Bear Hunt’ and ‘The Gruffalo’, but I’m gradually introducing him to the classics of my childhood, ‘Ivor the Engine’ and ‘Postman Pat’ have already made an appearance in the form of my old books from the late 1970s; yes, my parents seem to have kept everything! I’m getting slightly fed up of the same books every evening, he’s definitely going through his repetitive phase – if I don’t see ‘Not now, Bernard!’ ever again I wouldn’t be unhappy, but he so obviously enjoys them that I don’t mind reading ‘Monkey Puzzle’ for the 10th night in a row!
What impact has reading had on your life?