Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Learning to Read

I have very few memories of my childhood, but one of them was standing in the road not far from our house, and refusing to move until I’d spelt out ‘Coombeinteignhead’ which is difficult enough to spell at the best of times, let alone when you’re learning to read. However, after that tricky start, anything else was easy, and once I discovered the delight of books, I could hardly contain myself.

I was always an active child, spending much time outside running and playing games, then as I grew older I learned to swim, did gym and ballet, both of which I adored and was good at. So I was by no means a solitary bookworm, but books held a huge fascination from me when I was forced indoors.

The library was the next delight, especially when I found I could borrow 4 - or was it 6 - books at a time. However, I inherited my mother’s ability to speed read, so my books never lasted long, and I can remember protesting when the librarian couldn’t believe that I’d read my quota of books so quickly.

Later on, my parents left the little seaside town and moved inland, nearer Totnes in Devon, and there I discovered the wondrous worlds of independent and second hand bookshops, of which there were plenty. The delight of entering a bookshop with a Christmas book voucher, or with pocket money to spend in the second hand bookshop, where Mum worked. One of her regular visitors was Mary Wesley, and I couldn’t believe this great writer would actually enter the shop where my mum worked. Much less reply to a letter I sent her, saying how much I’d enjoyed Harnessing Peacocks…

All of these stepping stones make a reader, which in turn can make a writer. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read, or grab the building blocks to turn me into a writer.

So here’s to our libraries, and all our independent bookshops, in particular #falmouthbookseller and #edgeoftheworldbookshop of who now stock The Rescue also available here -

1 comment:

Lulu said...

Hello Sue, is that you with the little red shoes on? Lovely :) How wonderful that Mary Wesley used to come into your mum's book shop xXx