I’ve been looking at things for the magazine and as per usual it’s sparked a variety of ideas and plans. It also made me think about personal experiences, so I wanted to share my non knitting thoughts today. Forgive me if you’re expecting something else, my next post will be woolly and much more fibre filled.
For those of you who don’t know, today Thursday 3rd March 2016 is World Book Day.
In the past, when my children were in Primary School, World Book Day was a family favourite. The schools often encouraged the pupils to dress up as the characters from their favourite books and I have particularly fond memories of Dina dressing up as Fantastic Mr Fox. She still loves Roald Dahl to this day and like me, hasalways been a reader. Her great memory means that unlike me she can recall the stories too. When she was younger, books were her salvation and probably helped her through some of the tough times our family experienced.
My love affair with books started when I was a child and I have lugged boxes of books around with me since leaving home at 15. Story books, reference books,anything and everything I could get my hands on. With age the number of boxes has increased and I still have shelves everywhere crammed full of my books, the kids books and I’m lucky enough to even have some that belonged to my grandparents.
Books have always been a huge part of life in my house and from as far back as I can remember I have devoured them. Libraries were my happy place. There was the one in Wellingborough, Northants where I whiled away hours reading everything from Winnie the Pooh, to books on the Occult (post punk, pre Emo stage of my life). Then there was the Library in Forrest Hill, London, a beautiful old building that smells divine. I remember how much I loved sitting at the old wooden tables, reading books about wildflowers, crafts and cooking. Even now Irecall becoming distracted by the light, trickling through the leaves of the trees outside the windows. Turning my attention away from the pages, to daydream about days yet to come.
Having my two eldest children at a young age meant we never had any spare money, despite this we always had books. I would save any spare change to visit the charity shops or Jumble Sales, often leaving with a bag full, especially when it comes to the latter. (I miss a good jumble sale since moving to Ireland, if anyone knows of any good ones please let me know!) From the moment they were born I have shared my love of libraries with my children, we’d visit our local one regularly and spent at least two Summers following the Children’s Book Tours around the county. Jumping on buses to other towns to hear stories of adventures and intrepid tales, before eating our packed lunches and catching the bus home.
Perhaps, it was this shared love of books that made it more of a shock when my eldest son Du was diagnosed as Dyslexic. I struggled with his struggles and at the beginning I was completely at a loss when it came to helping him. We were incredibly lucky he was attending a school with a language centre at the time and the help he/we received was invaluable. Despite the difficulties he experienced because of his dyslexia he continued to love books and a few years later I had my second son, Kye, who is also Dyslexic. And still the books remained. Du often sat with a very young Kye on the sofa looking at books, as did Dina. The older two would often sit and listen to me read the books to Kye, I’d once read to them. “We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re gonna catch a big one, I’m not scared……”
Now, Kye is 15 and mostly interested in computer games, the thought of reading a book is beyond the pale, his only concession being the Marvel Comic he shares with his brother. (He’ll kill me for saying it, but he loves looking at books on animals and cars too.) Du on the other hand has become an avid reader, despite finding it more difficult than some. He loves fantasy and sci-fi (or as my husband calls it ‘Sci-fi Sh*t – he’s not a reader himself) but is also partial to a classic or two and through his love of reading we now share a passion.
I’m often too busy to read now, but I love to listen to audio books while I’m working or in the bath and of course in the car. I’ve even been know remain in the car, outside my house so I can continue to listen to the end of the chapter. I’m still enjoying books, but in a different way than before and that’s what I wanted to share. A love of books is (I believe), something I shared with my kids from a very young age and it’s that enthusiasm, I hope that’s encouraged them to read, despite the obstacles.
World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. We are now in the digital age, and it is more important than ever to champion libraries and to use them and encourage our children to use them too, before they become something we associate with the past.
Just a few of my fibre crafting books 🙂