“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall” – Roald Dahl
I was going to write some short reviews of all the books I’ve read so far this year, in celebration of World Book Day but instead my fingers ended up typing a book themed trip down memory lane, I’ll take you there with me.
It may sound cheesy, but books really have shaped my life. It all began at the tender age of 3, starting off with Mr Men books. I guess you could say this was the beginning of my life long relationship with reading.
Almost all my childhood memories involve books in some way; my entire school years were spent with my face in a book of some sort. At night I’d live under my duvet with a torch, straining my eyes whilst I devoured each word. Every birthday and Christmas I’d ask for book vouchers. I’d even get told off at school for reading instead of working.
I remember being given Lemony Snickets “A Series of Unfortunate Events” as an early present one Christmas eve, and completing the first three before Christmas morning.
One of my Harry Potter books is filthy because my mum took me for a walk, stopping by a pond to read in the rare British sun and being the clumsy child I am, dropped The Philosophers Stone into the muggy waters.
I remember my mum would take me to our local book swap, something that excited me so much. At the door, I’d hand someone a bag of my old books that had been well read, and in turn would be given tickets, which I would redeem for someone else’s old, well read books.
I remember writing to my favourite childhood author Philip Ardagh, and actually getting a letter back! I’ve also met him on 4 occasions and he has signed every book of his I own. The grown up me is now following his twitter account, he’s a very funny, very bearded man.
I also remember with a great fondness, World Book Day. A whole day spent dedicated to books. I remember going into primary school dressed as Mildred Hubble, and getting rather angry at anyone who dared question whether I was Hermione Granger (The sheer cheek of them!)
My favourite thing about World Book Day was trading in the voucher given to me from school for a new, crisp book. I also remember the excitement of finding someone else’s crumpled book voucher, left unwanted and slightly torn on the side of the pavement, and picking it up, like Charlie did with his golden ticket, knowing I could get two books.
I realise there is a lot of “I remember” in this post. But it’s the small, tiny moments like these that I’ve cherished, more than any theme park trips, or expensive toys that I had to have.
I really do hope that schools act upon World Book Day the same way mine did all those years ago, and take a day out of the usual curriculum to dedicate it to books, reading and more importantly, a childs imagination.
You can find more information about world book day here