OK, so I have struggled all of last night and all of today trying to think of one specific book that makes me happy. I came to the conclusion that I can’t pick just one. All books make me happy. So instead, I’m going to use this post to talk a little bit about why books make me happy.
My grandparents instilled in me a lifelong love of books. From a young age, I had my own bookcase that was groaning under the weight of all the books I had been bought as a treat or had gifted to me for birthdays and Christmas. Some children got chocolate for a treat, some got taken to the cinema or to Pizza Hut, I got taken to the little bookstore in town or Waterstones in Preston for the latest ‘Famous Five’ book or the next book in the ‘Faraway Tree’ series. As I got a little older, I was treated to ‘Deenie’ or ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.’
Where can I start with what I love about books? The smell of them and the feel of the pages. I have a Kindle Paperwhite now, which I love, but I will always prefer holding a book in my hands. Seeing it on my bookshelf and being reminded of the adventures captured in it’s pages. The Kindle was a purchase of necessity rather than desire. I have 3 year old twin boys and couldn’t bear to have my beloved books ruined by sticky little fingers. I still have some actual books, but they are kept high up, out of reach.
I’m an only child, so growing up, books were my companions. I could go to the land at the top of the Faraway Tree or on a camping trip with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy. I could pretend I wasn’t in my room alone but I was at Sweet Valley High with Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. Watching television never interested me much. Not as much as reading the next ‘Goosebumps’ book, or as I grew up, the next in the ‘Point Horror series.
The children’s section in the local library was a second home for me. They ran a reading club where every week you would read a book and then sit down with the librarian and tell her all about it. She would mark your card and you would go off and do the same the next week. They had bronze, silver and gold awards when you had read a certain number of books and I was both proud when I received my gold certificate and disappointed that I didn’t have another goal to work towards.
Now that I have my own children, I hope I can encourage them to love reading as much as I do. My family always buy books for them for Christmas and birthdays, just as they did with me and I have all my children’s books saved to give to them. For me, reading is a passion that will never fade and I hope in decades to come I will be sat with my grandchildren on my knee, reading to them just as my grandparents did with me.