“Have you read all these books then, Miss?” asked an enquiring Year 8 pupil, as she helped me take some texts back to our Aladdin’s Cave of a stock cupboard.
Regretfully – but probably not surprisingly – I had to say no. I’m lucky to work in a school with a long tradition of success in English Literature. That makes for a well-stocked text cupboard. As I looked round I was aware of the many gaps in my reading knowledge. Perhaps worryingly, this didn’t seem to surprise the Year 8 pupil, who nodded sagely at my answer.
“To be fair Miss, if you had read them all then you’d not really have much of a life, would you?”
Try as I might on the walk back to the classroom, I don’t think I convinced her that actually reading more would be a great thing to do. Shame I couldn’t instantly recall these wise words:
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
Whilst I couldn’t convince her to give one of the classics a go, before we left the room I persuaded her to take a copy of Neil Gamain’s Coraline. All reading is good reading in my book!