I can still remember the joy of receiving my first pop-up book one Christmas. All those fascinating, gorgeous pictures that popped up on each page while reading the gripping story gently led me into a never-ending world of make-believe. We couldn't afford many books in the home as we were a large family, but my father did buy the whole set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and I was immediately hooked! Fairytales, poetry, Aesop’s Fables, tales of other lands, plus art, geography, and French – I longed for wet days to stay in and explore those pages.
When I finally discovered the local library, it was heavenly. All those books in one place, and I could take some out! So began a love-affair with mystery and adventure: Enid Blyton, the Chalet School, What Katy Did, Little Women, graduating to the romantic suspense of Malcom Saville, and the creepy mystery of Alan Garner’s The Owl Service. These are the kind of books that shaped my long-term love of reading. What a legacy to give any child!