This tag has being doing it’s rounds on YT lately, I think after the book release of ‘The Reader’ by Traci Chee. I wasn’t officially tagged but I consider myself tagged by my good friend Mollie of MollieReads.
Choose one word that describes you as a reader.
Curious. I am a curious reader, always keen to explore new worlds, visit with new types of people and witness and experience lives i never would have know if it weren’t for books.
What’s the very first book you fell in love with?
I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, I was always the kid in the corner with her nose in a book. I can’t remember which of these came first but these are my childhood book loves:
Super fudge by Judy Blume (anything by her but I read this one over and over again.)
Bad Girls by Jacqueline Wilson (again I read everything I could of hers but this one I actually faked being ill to stay at home and read once!)
The Babysitters Club
Hardcover or paperback.
Because I buy primarily second hand I will read whatever I can find, but my preferred book is a gloriously floppy paperback with thin but not too thin pages that have that almost glossy finish.
How has reading shaped your identity?
Reading is such a big part of my identity. Books were my friends when I had none. Books were my comfort when my happy home-life caved in. Books prepared me for and held my hand through, all major teenage milestones. Reading has shaped my identity no less than friends or family do, it gave me the best opportunity of my life – to see beyond myself and my world.
What book do you read when you need to be comforted?
I don’t really seek comfort in a particular book or series, I think I find comfort more simply in the act of reading. When I need comforted I either go for a YA contemporary in the way that you might seek out a best friend who always knows what to say… Or a fantastical adventure in the way that some people drink to forget. Books are so wonderfully versatile.
Who taught you to be a reader? (Or did you do it all on your own?)
I was definitely encouraged to read as a child by both family and teachers. I fell in love with reading early so although the encouragement didn’t stop, I definitely didn’t need any to keep going!
Describe your dream reading lounge.
Oh! So exciting. Okay… Lots of natural light is a big must, but it has to be easily made cosy at night with blinds and a fireplace. Hardwood floors with fluffy rugs and big throw cushions. 4 or 5 big well worn cosy armchairs with blankets (so people can join me in my reading room). Obviously a butt ton of books, organised by genre then by authors surname. In one corner would be a small sideboard with a kettle and coffee machine, a cupboard full of snacks and a water cooler. Beside the door would be a chalkboard wall so people can sign their lives over when they borrow a book 🙂
What book changed the way you act or see the world?
I try to take something of value from each book I read, it’s important to me that I am always learning and growing:
Judy Blume taught me that life can be happy even when it’s tough and confusing.
Jacqueline Wilson taught me that the ‘nobodies’ of the world have a lot to say.
JK Rowling taught me that it’s okay to feel misunderstood and that a found family is just as good as, if not better than, being related by blood.
Sylvia Plath taught me to express myself through words on a page, even if it’s only for myself to read.
CS Lewis taught me to have faith and that life is an adventure.
That’s just a drop in the ocean of how books have changed me. This year so many new and new to me authors are still helping me see the world in new and different ways; Adam Silvera, Francesca Zappia, Becky Albertalli, Louise Gornall, Tara Sim. I will never stop reading widely, but the reason I never stray far from Young Adult Literature is because teens and young adults are brave, and honest, and intelligent and insightful… and those who write for young people hold treasured keys to how the world works.