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Books Rock. End Of.

1 Feb

ImageAs long as I can remember, I’ve always loved books, and reading.  I wanted to pass this love onto Tornado Toddler, and I’m pretty sure I’ve succeeded. At sixteen months, he can now often be found pursuing me through the house, wildly bashing a book at my legs and won’t quit until I sit down to share it with him. He is obsessed (and I mean, obsessed) with animals and currently his favourite stories are Mog’s Christmas (he’s not bothered it’s not entirely seasonal), Muddle Farm (I have magnets all over my dishwasher, the bin, the radiator), Spot, Hugless Douglas, and his Usborne Children’s Bible, which is beautifully illustrated with animals of all kinds. As well as Jesus.

It’s fantastic to see, because I think to be given the gift of loving books is an amazing thing. I don’t understand people who say they don’t read. I cannot compute. What? Why ever not? It makes no sense to my befuddled brain. These people miss out on so much. You can experience so much through a book. Meet new people. Travel different places. Do interesting things. Books are an adventure, right there, at the tips of your fingers. What’s not to like? (Anyway, I don’t entirely believe people who say they don’t like reading. I just think they haven’t found the right book yet.)

Enid Blyton was my favourite author when I was younger. I loved The Famous Five, The Magic Faraway Tree, Mallory Towers and The Twins at St Clare’s. Even now I’m still stunned by how many books she published (It was hundreds. Read all about it on her Wiki page:

Thinking about how much she wrote, and the amount of storylines she came up with, completely blows my mind. 10,000 words a day? Good grief, woman, you were a writing machine. But I remember so clearly the excitement I felt when I got a new Blyton to read, knowing I was preparing to go on an adventure on a deserted island, or into a boarding school, or to live on a farm, or go up a magical tree. Enid helped create that magic in my childhood which made me love books so much now as an adult. So thanks, for that, Enid. You rock. (And thanks Mum and Dad for getting the books for me. It pays to have parents who run the book stall at the village fete. You rock, too.)

What about you? Which books did you most enjoy from your childhood?


Libraries – Do You Use Them?

17 Jan

Today is PLR day. A terribly exciting day for authors everywhere, as we find out how much PLR we’ve earned. PLR (public lending rights) is the money an author gets whenever you take one of their books out of the library. It’s a few pence for each borrow, but obviously if you’ve got a lot of books out there, and a lot of people borrowing them, it can add up and you get a nice income boost to brighten up gloomy January.

It was my first PLR day after the release of Baby Badger’s Wonderful Night last spring, and I made the princely sum of £13.65. Oh yes. And that’s BEFORE tax, people. I’m rich! Or, er, not. But anyway, I posted about this on my Facebook page and it started an interesting debate about libraries, and whether or not they’re still relevant – and even used – anymore.

I love libraries. Mainly because I love books. Especially FREE books. But I probably don’t use my local library as much as I should, although I plan to now, as Tornado Toddler adores reading, and the library will offer him a lot of reading material, and cost me nowt. I’ve visited sporadically over the past year, doing the singing events when Tornado Toddler was a baby and borrowing the odd book here and there. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of stuff in my house, so am borrowing the books I’ll only read once, rather than buying them. But still, I don’t go as much as I once did. And with the increasing popularity of Kindles, and nobody really needing reference books anymore what with Google right at our finger tips,  I can see why people think libraries aren’t really needed.

I think libraries still have a lot to offer the community, and I’d be really sad to see mine go. Why not pay your local library a visit this week – you might be surprised by what you find.

What about you – do you use yours?