Every year I decide on a mission. Last year, it was Random acts of kindness. I loved it so much that I carried it through to May 2017.
But I woke up this morning, with a new mission spiraling around my head… Breeding Bookworms! I need to help breed readers around our country and on our continent. I grew up devouring books. In fact, I often got into trouble for squirreling away with a good book and forgetting to emerge for meals. I’d be so lost in my imaginary world, that anything pedestrian, like food, faded into insignificance.
My own child grew up in a room full of books and teddies. She was read to by her mum, dad, granny and numerous other family members. The Hout Bay librarian turned herself inside out to accommodate her ferocious reading habits and eventually asked for a meeting with her mother. A display of respectable books from the adult section, were spread across her desk. “I don’t have any more age appropriate books for Kirsten,” she announced. “But I think these will be acceptable.” And so my ten year old was initiated.
Over the countless years of teaching at schools, I wove “reading time” into every class I ever had the pleasure of nurturing. At first, it was a silent reading pause but gradually I realised that my reading aloud to a small group of teenagers, was the best way to engage everyone in the group. To my amazement, this also worked like a charm with my first year university students! I established a mini library in my classrooms and in the Communications Room, at the university I taught at. In next to no-time my little book corner became a wall-to-wall collection of books and became know as “the lab.”
Reading and reading and reading…inevitably led to writing! And so, I find myself in the incredibly lucky position of being able to add my tiny contribution to the pile. Of course, I am tickled pink when people buy copies of my novel. It makes me dream of a future in the writing world. I have already started on a sequel and when it’s ready, I’ll endeavour to have it out there too. But the idea of breeding bookworms has been percolating for a long time and now I’m ready to plant it. It’s a tiny seed at the moment, but with the rains coming, it stands a chance to grow steadily and become a beanstalk!