The reading bug
I'm not sure when I first took an interest in reading. It must have been a weekend, probably a Sunday, I must have been eight or nine years old. My dad had been helping out one of his friends and he came home with several bulging shopping bags. The daughter of his friend was several years older than me apparently and she had been having a sort out of her room and decided that she no longer wanted her Enid Blyton books. I had never seen so many books, let alone possessed them. It was like an Aladdins cave. They were mostly Secret Seven books with some Famous Fives, I was in heaven. I enver even knew these stories existed.
At school it was a completely different story. I remember having to read shakespeare - Hamlet I think - in class but could not relate to it at all. We would be chosen at random to read out loud and woe betide you if you did not know where you were in the book. I spent so much time trying not to lose my place that I didn't listen to the story, it was just words. I must have been quite backward now I come to think of it because all I remember is everything being hard, nothing really ever came naturally. Books we had to read included War of the Worlds, Lord of the Flies, and Brave New World. I think I managed to get through the first two but Brave New World was so difficult. Two stories at once - I was not prepared for this and my tiny brain could not process it. In the end I read the first, third and fifth chapters etc first, then went back and read the second, fourth etc., to get the idea of the book. I have read it several times since in the right order and absolutely love it, but I wonder if I would have if I hadn't worked out how to read it the first time. In fact I still have all three books, and all three were originally school books. Naughty I know, but I msut have enjoyed them so much. I really don't remember reading anything else in the whole of my school life, apart from Janet and John books.