Tuesday, 11 October 2016

wrapped up in books

Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_egal'>egal / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

My biggest Pinterest obsession after afro hair styles is the reading nook. Swathes of ideas about where to store your book collection and where to sit comfortable in book heaven. 

Since the beginning of forever I have loved a book. I love books.

Hiding under the blankets using the light on my watch to read Enid Blyton's Famous Five quicly followed by the Secret Seven before hopping across the pond to discover Nancy Drew. This is where my love of crime drama came from. Memories of surreptitious smuggling of Judy Blume books with mates at school were recently revived when I bought the box set of her kids fiction for BigL (omitting Tiger Eyes and Forever - there's plenty of time for that!). And between the compulsory University Shakespeares and English canon readers I discovered the black woman in the works of Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Naylor, ntozake shange, Zadie Smith and Andrea Levy.

Are you surprised I became an English teacher for nigh on 20 years?

I am the parent who has cherished my own favourite books for my daughters to love. I am the friend who buys books for birthdays having scoured the bookstores for a story that will excite or reflect your child in the narrative. I am the woman with a books-to-be-read tower in the corner of my room but still finds herself shopping for the next can't-do-without novel.

Book-lovers amongst you will recognise the joy a book can give when it lifts you out of your now and tips you into an alternative life, predicament, galaxy.  How a book can grip and drag you into the wee hours when you know the minutes are creeping ever closer to your morning alarm; just one more chapter you promise yourself. 

From the minute they could point to pictures in a baby board book I have been reading to my daughters; post bath-time curled up with superheros and talking food. Their reading journeys alongside clever mice, wizarding buddies, adventurous beasts and mean girls in even meaner school have now segued with mine and we search dystopian worlds together.

My monumental moment in books so far: waiting with a ready hug as BigL read the last page in Private Peaceful. The power of the written word understood.