I'm one of those people that will have to read, every day. It is part of the going to bed ritual, I have to read. If I don't, I feel that my day isn't complete. Something is missing. At a restaurant I'm one of those that will read all the signage, the menu again and the specials board at least a few times (just in case I missed something that first time).

I will read the back of the muesli packet, the side of the biscuit box. I will read junk mail and signage of all descriptions.

Working in a library means I have access to so many books. At times it's a bit of overkill. So many books, so little time..what to read next?

And the more people I meet in the library the more I realise that reading isn't for everyone. That a lot of people struggle with it...and one of the joys of my job is to find something that will work for them.

The other day a man came in, toting his eleven year old son. Marched up to the desk with 'we need to find him a book. He doesn't like to read and we need him reading.'

Challenge accepted!

I started to ask young sir what he was interested in and Dad said 'doesn't matter, just find him a book.'

'But how can I find him a book if I don't know if he likes adventure or humour or mystery?'

'Does it matter?' asks dad.

Now I know this father and know that he orders in magazines, sport magazines. I calmly told him 'I have to find out his interests or it would be like me giving you a craft magazine to read or one on gardening.'

Ah, that lightbulb moment. We soon found out that young sir enjoyed humour, quick walk and we found a few and he chose one with a 'I think I'd like that one.'

Quick exit of happy child with an Anh Do book in his hand, and a father who is beginning to understand what will work with his child. (They came in yesterday and he took out a Roald Dahl!)

It's not only children that need a gentle push in the right direction. We often get people in that say 'I've not read for a long time, the last book I really liked was by SUCH AND SUCH, do you have anything else by him/her or someone similar.'

Bit of research, a few questions and we have a few options to consider.

It was like that great moment when we were babysitting Little Miss and she picked up a book and read it out loud. She was so pleased with herself for reading a chapter book. It just took us a bit of time to find the right book for her, at that time. A few more books and watch the confidence grow.

But most importantly, I don't believe you can be a writer without reading.  So many people think that if they read they will be swamped with other people's ideas, that they will be copying or stealing. That to be truly original you must not read at all.

Reading shows you what works and what doesn't. It shows how clever some writers are...and makes you disappointed in others.

You will marvel at plots and themes...will cry over characters unseemingly killed off for no good reason...will want others to open their eyes and see what they are missing out on.

You will discover worlds you had never dreamed of.

Will be transfixed at how some authors can put words together and create such beauty.

I know there are so many people out there that think they don't need to read, or want to...I just believe they haven't found the right book yet.

For adults it's a choice...but for children. It is our duty to find the right book for them. To get them understanding the magic inside a book.



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