If I try to think back on a time where I didn’t have a book in my hand, I can’t. They have always been there, and I am so very thankful for that.
My mum is a reader, so is my grandma, so is my dad. When you enter into that kind of a family, it’s hard for it to not rub off on you. My mum would read to me as I grew up, one day I was able to memorise a whole Thomas the Tank Engine book before really being able to read the words. I suppose from a young age I loved stories.
Reading with my mum
My mum and I would always read before I went to bed. We’d also listen to books on tape on longer car rides, we had the first three Harry Potter books narrated by Stephen Fry. I think we’d have loved something like Audible at that time because those tapes started to get pretty expensive the bigger the books got.
We also read the Harry Potter books in physical form together too, I think this really brought about the evolution of my reading. We read up until Order of the Phoenix together and then I think I took over and read them myself. I feel honoured to have been able to grow up in a time when these books were being released, the wait made them all the more exciting. We would always be excited to buy the next copy and fall back into the world.
So of course I have my mum to thank for getting me into reading, but Harry Potter also played a big hand in it.
Finding the right author
When I was able to read myself I probably changed/developed my style of reading. I could choose a story I wanted, not one both my mum and I had to enjoy. I read a lot of Jaqueline Wilson (and was lucky enough to be featured in the ARC of My Mum Tracy Beaker recently!!), I was obsessed with her books. They were such quick and fun reads and there were so many to choose from. The little illustrations and familiar characters made them perfect for me at Primary School age.
I also remember falling in love with adventure books and fantasy. Anything weird and wonderful, or anything with kids my age going on missions. Enid Blyton was a fantastic author for me to read, my mum read me her books as a kid, The Magic Faraway Tree etc, then as I was older I read some of her older novels. I also remember loving a series called Triskelion, I can’t remember much about it, but I know there was an old mystery to be solved. This definitely reflects my taste in books now!
Always have a book on the go
I was never without a book, even when I slowed down my reading, I always had my bookmark somewhere in-between pages. I used to bring books to every family event when I was younger, I’m sure I looked very sociable! When I was at school doing my A Levels and when I went to university I think my reading pace slowed down a little. It was hard to keep up with everything and have time to try and be a teenager. But I was still never without a book.
At university was when I fell into the book community online, so I think this helped to pick my pace back up and introduced me to a new world of books. Suddenly I was getting recommendations all over the place, so it made it easier to find new books I fancied.
Since then though, I read constantly now, I’ve gone back to my old ways and I think I do more reading than I do any other hobby. I am still known to always be carrying a book with me or to be lost in a story in some medium or another. I think ultimately it was being surrounded by readers, especially my mum, that encouraged me to enter this bookish world and never leave.
So what’s your reading story?