Long, long ago, after a bath but before bedtime (in the days when there were no PCs, laptops, mobile phones, iPads) my Mum (sometimes my Dad) would read to me. First it was books with more pictures than words. There were some stories about a talking helicopter and a talking aeroplane. I seem to remember it wasn’t too long before I was reading myself – tales of King Arthur and Sir Lancelot, Robin Hood, Biggles, Long John Silver (Treasure Island was a favourite book), schoolboy Jennings and mischievous William Brown, then James Bond, Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf and, if he’d been around in those days, I’d have been a big Harry Potter fan.
Then it was Shakespeare, Milton, Thomas Hardy, William Golding, Ernest Hemingway, Roger McGough, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and A Level revision notes and exam papers. And so it went on till I was reading job advertisements and filling in job applications and applying for a driving licence and a passport. Thank goodness I was able to read… and write.
And talking of writing… all that reading (thanks Mum and Dad) led to me writing… stories, poems, songs and, to cut a long story short, I’m still reading and writing. What a pleasure it has been, and still is, to be able to do that. And, if I hadn’t become a reader (I just know it) I’d never have become a poet. Just shows where a little reading, after a bath but before bedtime, can lead to.
More information about International Literacy Day can be found at http://internationalliteracyday.org/