It was my Mum who taught me to read before I was old enough to go to school. So I must have been younger than 5 years old then.
It was my Nan, my Mum’s Mum, who then came and visited us thrice weekly or more, and said “You can’t read! I don’t believe you can read. Show me that you can read.” Knowing all along that I had by then been taught how to read.
And my Nan then moved me gently on from saying “Oh yes I can read, Nan”, as I read aloud to her, to asking her “Am I reading right, Nan?”. I will never forget the nods that my Nan nodded!!!
We lived then in the backstreets of the East End of London, surrounded by bombed-out habitations where now Millionaires and Multi-millionaires reside. But the Millionaires didn’t care about us then, any more than they care now about the reasons for libraries being so important to so many people. Young, older and old. We’re all people.
I was about 8 years old when I was introduced to the Local Library … and I never looked back. From that moment on, I was entranced, hooked into a world that had never existed for me before then. Because we had no books in our house! We had never been introduced to owning ‘books’ that we could handle and read day in day out, and keep on bookshelves. We didn’t have bookshelves either. Books were unaffordable then for us, and unattainable. As books still are for those youngsters today who have never been introduced to books and to libraries.
Now, all those years on, our so-called elected Government and Local Authorities are about to abolish so many libraries. All in the name of cost-cutting ‘cuts’.
If we allow them to obliterate such an enormously and fairly cheap resource (whatever that word ‘cheap’ may now mean) then I will never ever again be able to hold my head up high.
If local libraries vanish, then my Nan will be back to haunt them, each and every one of them. My Nan was a cuddly gentle person but she may well change her profile. If that is what it takes, Nan, then I’ll be behind you!!!
Thanks, Nan and Mum and thanks also to all those Libraries that came my way from then to now.