In the UK, today it’s World Book Day.
Other countries will celebrate in a few weeks’ time on 23rd April when they mark World Book and Copyright Day.
World Book Day is the world’s largest campaign to provide every child and young adult in the country with a book of their own.
It’s a celebration of books and reading.
Reading can open up whole new worlds to children and adults alike. It’s never too late to pick up a book and discover this for yourself.
I grew up in a house where there were always books available. I was lucky. As a small child, my mum would read to me, would read me a bedtime story every night, introducing me to many magical adventures. In time, I learned to read for myself and devoured books. (I still do!) By the time I was about seven or eight years old I was quite content to spend an afternoon curled up with a good book, invariably Enid Blyton. I loved her adventure and mystery books. I’d talk to my beloved Wee Gran about the stories I was reading.
She was a fabulous old lady. At that time, she was in her late seventies and had never been a reader. When she was growing up in Tarbert, Harris, there was little money or time for books other than the bible. As an adult ,she never had time or money either but she introduced my mum and her sister to books. She would bring home books from the “big houses” where she worked as a housekeeper that the household’s children had out grown. The lady of the house happy to gift them to her for her girls. I still have several of these now very old books and have precious memories of my gran reading to me from them and of me reading them to her.
Watching me reading these simple Enid Blyton mysteries piqued her curiosity and soon she was reading them once I had finished with them. After a while my mum suggested that she move onto something more suitable for her and proposed that my gran join the local library. (My mum also bought her a few second-hand books. She always liked David Niven the actor but after reading his autobiography The Moon’s A Balloon, I don’t think she ever felt the same about the man. I think it was an “educational” read for this innocent soul.)
Her little green cardboard library ticket opened up a whole new world for this wonderful little lady. She developed into a voracious reader through her eighties and early nineties, liking nothing better than a “nice” doctor and nurse romance with a happy ending. As her eyesight failed a bit, my mum would bring her large print editions of Mills and Boon romances. (Some of these proved educational too!)
A late bloomer but proof that it’s never too late to pick up a book for the first time.
Sadly, she’s long since passed but I often wonder what she would have made of a Kindle……..
some photos sourced from Google- credits to the owners