I am very stubborn. (Hi Mum. Don’t laugh). I am very stubborn and quite contrary and distinctly independent. I have a few things I believe in, very very much.
One of those things is that books – literacy – libraries – all these things fall under one of our greatest achievements as humanity. We share knowledge. Share it with the turning of a page. How amazing is that? That we give such a gift – such a power – free of charge?
But what’s more amazing is when you discover that you already have a story. That you own it – you know it – and you want more of it. Literacy is amazing, but what’s more amazing in a way is the realisation that you – are – the story. When you discover the building blocks for where you want to go – and where you’ve already been. More formally, I suppose one could call this a discovering of your own literature – oral and textual – and through a discovering of that literature, a discovering of yourself.
These are my roots. These are my building
blocks books. These are my stories.
PC 49 from the Eagle. Everything from the Eagle. Dan Dare. The way the Colonel protected the lady astronaut. Sam Small (Pick Oop Tha’ musket!). Sir Gawain. Sir Percival. The dirty bits in Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Knights. Spike Milligan. Troy. Ithaka. King Arthur. The Four Marys. The Chalet School. Everything ever written by Michelle Magorian. My Little Pony. The Last Unicorn. Transformers. Even the bits when Optimus Prime died and Hot Rod took over (So yes, I did cry). Aragorn. The Colour Purple. Ariel (with the note we wrote in sixth form that says ‘oh look it’s another depressing poem’). Twinkle. Twinkle! The Silver Brumby. Oh the Silver Brumby. Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. My Friend Flicka!
This is my literacy, a weird hybrid of horses and comics and consonant dropping soldiers. Knowing this – knowing why I liked it then / now / forever – helps me to know where I’m going, because I know where I’ve been. I know what I am. And I like it.
I am built by books, and I am being built anew every day.
I am a reader.