IT SEEMS there’s just no way of describing every single one of my best loved books and series without causing people to cringe.
And it would be an unspeakable injustice to select one book above another, as comparing books is like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. So, I won’t even try.
I will say this: to read is to empower, and it is so essential that children broaden their horizons and widen their imagination through the books that they read. I remember being read to by my dad as a child, and being disappointed when the stories were short and finished swiftly. But the fondest memories of my childhood involve devouring Enid Blyton and JK Rowling’s masterpieces.
I read books as one would breathe air; to fill up and survive. With them, there is no such thing as loneliness. There is a sense of unconditional love, because they’re always there when nobody else is. I read books and find that they are better than real life.
Shutting the cover of a book feels like pulling the gate of a prison cell closed behind me, locking myself back into this dull and lacklustre room we call reality. I can only escape for so long before I must reluctantly return. My thoughts, however, are forever drifting back to my thousands of adventures.
Riding dragons and feeling the dry scales of its wings beneath my fingertips. My pulse rapidly quickening as a demon rears up in front of me, right before I plunge a dagger through its neck. The searing pain of whiplash as the string of my bow thrashes my arm. Forcing my feet forward just a little faster, my legs and lungs burning, but anticipating the moment my fingers curl around the cool metal railing and I swing my weight onto the moving train.
I am a girl. I have kissed more boys than necessary, travelled to more realms than one can begin to imagine, fallen in love, had my heart broken, and lived lives other than my own. I have fought fallen angels, ignited rebellions, and survived the Hunger Games. Twice.
I am constantly frustrated by “muggles” and “mundanes” (ordinary humans, for those unfamiliar with the terms), who could not be bothered with our ongoing quixotic quests, or never make the effort to understand what I am, what I do or where I come from, despite there being countless possible answers to those questions.
It’s unbearably difficult to suffer book hangovers, which involve awaking after late nights drinking in page after page, never wanting to stop. Book hangovers weaken you physically (and not because of lack of sleep) and are cured by immense chunks of personal space, deep breathing, a good venting session, and allowing time for the desperation to settle.
One must always be careful of books and what they hold, because words have the power to change us. Through it all I have discovered books to be my safe haven, and without them there would be no me. Books are life.
- Being told stories and being read to helps children develop the rich storehouse of language, grammar and vocabulary they need to bring to texts when learning to read and write. Get your FREE Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment supplement tomorrow in The Herald or visit the Nal’ibali website, www.nalibali.org , or mobisite, www.nalibali.mobi , for more storytelling tips and children’s stories.
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