Book Worm. Reader. Book Lover. Literary Critic. Bibliophile.
Any of the above words will do.
With World Book Day falling on the 7th March, I wanted to talk about why books are deeply important to me, how they’ve rescued me from some dark times and why they will always have a very strong presence in my life.
I was never one of those children who had to be encouraged to read.
My parents read to me every single night when I was younger and once I’d developed the skills to read confidently by myself, I never really stopped.
The first book that I had a real love for was Harry Potter (I can hear how surprised you all are to hear that) and truth be told, I waited many years until I could get my hands on the first four books in order to begin reading them.
During high school, I wasn’t in the popular gang nor did I have a solid group of friends to rely on but in actual fact, I had three wonderful people in my life who were always there for me each time I turned the page.
Harry, Ron and Hermione.
How sad of me to admit that?
I’m actually not ashamed to say that I relied heavily on the HP trio as my companions in order to get through the absolute horror that was high school (seriously, you’d understand if you went to my school).
I can remember coming home from school and for an hour, I just wanted to completely zone out and be absorbed in the magical world of Hogwarts.
It worked. Those books somehow got me through five dreadful years of high school and yet, they also allowed me to fall madly in love with literature.
I can honestly say that despite being someone who has suffered from anxiety and panic attacks in the past, I count myself very lucky that I’ve never had any truly dark thoughts.
But I have had moments where I feel completely worthless (still do) as well as times where I think everybody on the entire planet hates me (they don’t, I’m not Voldemort) and in those times, I’ve relied on books to cheer me up and to help me feel better about myself as a person.
Around the age of twenty-two, I discovered my love for Chick Lit and within a single summer, I read six books which were all written by Paige Toon.
Paige is an author who I have a really lovely relationship with; I see her when I attend her events, she is more than happy to share my reviews of her books but most of all – she was the one who gave me the courage to begin my blog in the first place.
When I left University, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and so, I went to work for Waterstones whilst I started my blog. It was brilliant – I had a part time job in which I would be surrounded by books, I was writing reviews about books, I was being gifted books by publishers and I was reading some truly wonderful pieces of literature.
Just under a year after I started my blog, my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I read over 300 books in 2013 just to cope with the pain of what she was going through. I didn’t know what else to do other than to sit in bed with her during my days off and read. She’d ask me what I was reading and every few hours, I’d read short segments to her whether she was listening or not.
Now that she is 100% all clear, my Mum has also developed a love for reading.
I do strongly believe that I’ll always be a reader.
I am very lucky that my blog has given me so many opportunities within the book industry – work experience for publishers, receiving review copies as well as meeting authors.
I don’t just read to escape; sometimes I do but majority of the time, I read because of my love for literature.
So for this World Book Day, I urge you to treat yourself to a night of reading whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, reading to your child before they fall asleep or choosing a 99p book from the Kindle Store.
Just read. You won’t regret it.