Sian's Storytelling Sunday. On the first Sunday of each month, she urges us to think of the little things that are precious to us, things that are part of the fabric of our lives, and to tell the story behind them. Join her High in the Sky for more stories!
I am a reader. I always have been and I probably always will be. I was the child that begged for trips to the bookshop with its endless shelves of crisp new books, waiting to be discovered. I was the child that was lucky enough to be read to every night before I went to sleep. I was the child that hid under the covers of my bed, reading until the early hours by the faint light of a torch. I was the child that devoured books in a single night, my eyes skimming the words faster than I could turn the pages.
As I grew up, things didn't change all that much. Though school, university and now working life can sometimes get in the way, I always return to books. When worries and fears threaten and loom, a book can take me away to a place inside my imagination. I usually end up getting totally engrossed and reading for far longer than I had intended!
Now, I pretty much read anything and everything. Do I follow trends? Yes, I have to admit that if I see a book climbing the bestsellers list, I am always tempted to see what the fuss is about. So I recently read 'Gone Girl' and 'The Hunger Games', and I bought 'A Game of Thrones' yesterday. Jumping on the bandwagon, I know! However, I'll give anything a try, from thrillers and classics, to mysteries and girly romances, and everything in between. I don't generally reread books (with the exception of 'Harry Potter', obviously!) and a book called 'The Night Before Christmas' by Alice Taylor, which evocatively describes the traditions and joy of an old-style Irish family Christmas - I try to read it during the festive season every year.
When I began to think about which books are precious to me, childhood reads immediately came to mind. Nowadays, in an era of Kindles and readers and cheap paperbacks, books have almost become disposable to an extent. I find this sad. While I can see the advantages of a Kindle (and I was sorry I didn't have one with me on holidays as I get through books far too quickly), there's nothing like the feel of a book in your hands, turning those smooth pages, creasing the spine for the first time.
So these are some of the books that I had as a child, in the days before 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' or 'The Gruffalo'. These are (some of the many) books that are battered and torn (some more than others!), and that I couldn't part with for the world. They certainly are more than precious to me, because each one brings with it a wealth of memories and stories, cuddles on the couch and sleepy bedtimes and reading lying on my tummy on the floor...
There were many more... Dr. Seuss' 'Cat in the Hat' and his other books, all the fairytales, 'Charlotte's Web', and later everything written by Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson was read. Books are precious. No question!