I hope you’ll indulge me for this personal post, it’s a bit different to the cute babies and gorgeous families that you usually see here…
Growing up, I was an insatiable reader. Encouraged by an English teacher mum, books and a love of stories have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I used to hide down between my bed and the wall, reading novels for hours on end. I imagined magical lands at the top of the Faraway Tree with Enid Blyton; used my wits and intellect to sleuth along with Nancy Drew; and, spent my days horse-riding with The Saddle Club (before they went digital!). As I grew up, mystery and crime became my preferred genre – Agatha Christie, Harlan Coben and John Grisham.
But my absolute favourite author is Adrian Plass. His books engage and entertain me more than anything else I have read – particularly The Sacred Diary series. They bring, still to this day, both laughter and tears; wisdom and introspection.
The line from the movie You’ve Got Mail comes to mind… “When you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.”
I remember my Aunty Norelle buying me this book almost twenty years ago. It felt like quite an extravagant and spontaneous gift at that young age, and it has become the most well-loved book in my library. I have read it so many times it is literally falling apart.
This weekend I had the opportunity to meet Adrian, have a photo with him (fan-girl much!?!?!), and have my treasured relic signed.
It was so surreal to sit and listen to passages from this book (and others), read in their original “voice”. Adrian and his wife Bridget had such a gentle and wonderful message, and a hilarious way to deliver it. It was so nice to share the evening with my husband, whose frequent and sometimes unpredictable work travel schedule happened to work in our favour.
A fairly small gathering, a quiet Saturday night, not a big event in the grand scheme of things – but an incredibly special experience for me. Books have such a magical ability to create worlds outside of our own. Places where anything is possible. I feel so grateful to my parents for instilling such a love of books in me, and now helping me to do the same for my boys. I hope one day that Will & Sam will have many wonderful memories of a childhood filled with stories of adventure and intrigue, and that they might be as lucky as me, and get to meet some of the talented people who give life to their fictional heroes.
Oh, and if anyone can recommend a great book restorer in Brisbane, I’d love to hear from you… firstname.lastname@example.org.