One of the most wonderful things about books and stories for me is the ability to get lost in the world that the author has created.
I haven’t had the easiest life so far. My parents split when I was 5 and between this age and 16 I had both parents abandon me and different points and was brought up by my grandparents who I love dearly and literally saved my life. However my survival and success to date I believe to be down to two things: my amazing grandparents and books.
When my mum was screaming at me for some unknown reason or calling me the ‘fat’ sister, I had an escape. When I had to wait a whole week to see my Dad and my Grandparents again, I had an escape. And when my Nanny passed away and my mum didn’t care how it affected me, I had an escape. Every time, it was the stories sitting on my bookshelf that I turned to.
I distinctly remember one summer when we stayed with my Nanny, my mum’s mother, who was lovely but was much older than my Grandma and wouldn’t be found skipping in the street with us like Granny would, I found myself becoming very bored one rainy day. My Nanny suddenly jumped from her seat and went off to her bedroom to the secret cupboard where she stored Christmas presents being saved up throughout the year, and came back with a beautifully hand-painted box with a couple of books in. She handed it to me and told me I could have this present early. On the front of the box I could see a stone table, a lion and some children. On the back, a Queen wearing all white and a wonderful castle. The oddest thing I spied on the box was what looked like a box of Turkish Delight! I pulled out the first book and found the title which read ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’. From the first page, I was hooked and read the entire series that week.
I believe that books can save a person and that they have truly saved me many a time. When I was feeling down, Harry would invite me onto the Hogwarts Express or Bilbo might ask me to his birthday party. When I was happy, I could celebrate with the wonderful characters of Jacqueline Wilson. When it was the summer holidays and I yearned to be back at school with my friends, I turned to the girls at Malory Towers for respite.
If you don’t read, I can’t recommend it enough. Those characters that you meet will stay with you and, like they have with me, might even become some of your most cherished friends.
Just a thought x