At the age of 15, I failed my mock GCE English Literature exam by 2% and was told by my high school that I would not be allowed to go for the O-level in this subject. It was not worth it as I would probably fail. They did not give me the chance, even though I read and loved books. I felt sad. This decision sent me a message that I and fiction books were no good for each other, or that I was simply no good for them.
For the next 33 years or so I largely stopped reading fiction books. At the age of 41 I returned to education and I was busy then reading non-fiction, academic books and words to help me learn, think and grow in knowledge and in skills. Fiction books were no use to me. Silly stories telling me nothing which were not true. What was the point of that? A total waste of your time when you could be doing something so much more productive.
Then a couple of years ago I started working in a school and things about books began to get pretty serious. Perhaps, fiction was not such a bad idea to read after all. I had heard titles such as ” To Kill A Mocking Bird” and “The Christmas Carol” : “Brave New World” and others but these titles just washed over my head. They were meaningless.
Today, I went into my favourite book shop Toppings in Ely and remembered about my exam all those years ago. My eyes gazed over all those books and it was one of those moments when I thought, wow, this is such a wonderful world. All those authors were just jumping off the shelves. I wanted to take them all home. So many names; so much to choose from.
This blog’s simple message is just to say how much I have come to appreciate fiction in its own right -separate to non-fiction which I still enjoy. I have learned this over these last couple of years how fiction can stretch your mind and be totally just for enjoyment; to take you out of yourself and to learn about the beauty of the English language. Stories can convey a powerful message, touch on subjects that go much deeper than the pages and take you on a journey of discovery and desire.
I have a lot of time to make up and I hope I don’t wear out my eyes doing it. I wear glasses now and my father is nearly blind. I have a fear of loosing my sight too because of this but that won’t stop me reading, as there are so many books out there waiting for me to read them.
Just wanted to write this and share it.
If you love books, you will “kinder-know” what I mean:)