I have a confession. My name is Laura and I am a bookworm.
Actually, it is more than that - I am a book purist.
Seeing folded corners, pen marks and carelessly creased spines is enough to make me shudder - a fact that, once discovered, gave my class mates at university much delight.
While being a working woman has meant my reading has had to take a bit of a back seat I try to fit it in when I can. I read anything and everything.
Posters on buses, the backs of shampoo bottles, anything!
Especially on holidays when I’ll happily leave ‘essentials’ at home if it means I can squeeze in that extra paperback.
I can’t put into words what reading means to me. It gives you a sense of freedom, a break from reality and an adventure all rolled into one – not bad for some paper and ink.
There is something out there for everyone. From the Hungry Caterpillar to Jane Eyre, celebrity reads to boring postcards.
But books are under threat. New technology reduces shelves upon shelves of reading into a slim soulless screen. Government cuts means more than 350 libraries are understood to be under threat of closure and I have even met people who claim to have never read a single book!
Yet today marks a global celebration of all things readable, it’s World Book Day, marked in over 100 countries around the world.
So what is going on? Arguably reading does have trends, take the Harry Potter and Twilight phenomenon’s which have ruled the best selling lists for what seems like forever, but it is not likely to go out of fashion completely.
This has all got me thinking. What makes people read? To some people it is a hobby, to others a chore. Is it nature or nurture? I honestly don’t know.
But I do think the impact it has on people’s lives stretches beyond the physical pages.
I attribute my curiosity, my love of words and, to a certain extent, the way I see the world to the fact I love to read.
It has shaped my childhood, my studies and now even my chosen career.
And the fact these library closures could prevent future generations having the same relationship with reading that I have enjoyed is a very sad fact indeed.