Ironically there are no words to explain how I feel about books. But I will give it a try.
Jesus was my first literary companion, the bible being the book of choice in our household. Next was an enormous book the same size as me, full of fairies and adventures.
Memories of mum and I sitting on her bed reading Owl at Home and laughing until our sides hurt and we needed a hankie. Then a bad patch with reading and a while of struggling with words, gurning over sentences.
When this had passed I was left with such a desire to cosume every piece of written word I could get my hands on. It has become my passion, my job, my life.
There are so many amazing stories, so many wonderful characters. What can you say about a mouse who brandishes a sword, wears a plumed hat and is more than vain. Yet when a character is well designed, belief is never an issue, imagination is all that is important.
With my sheets over my head or home alone after school, I read the books that had been disallowed. I read in the bath, on the way to school, when I should have been studying and every moment in between. My favourite discussions to this day are about books.
When I decided to walk the Appalachian Trail, I wanted to do something positive that would help other people as well and I can’t imagine a better way to do that than to ensure that people get all the help they can learning to read, because I know that without books, my life would be hollow.
The National Literacy Trust have so many amazing programs that help people with reading that I can think of no better charity for me to support and I hope you will to.