Reading Stories

As you know, because I’ve mentioned more than a few times, I’ve been worried about how V will take to having a sibling. This is why I had to share the following conversation with you…

V: Mama, will you read me this story?

Me: Sure I will, come up on the bed.

V: Mama, when my baby brother comes, you can read this story to both of us. Ok?

I was so surprised and so proud that I may have had to hide a tear or two.
I know, I know – I’m a sad case!

My Obsession with Children’s Books

I have always loved reading.  We used to have loads of books in the playroom when we were little.  I even started a library when I was 11!

While I was at (primary (or Elementary, since it was American)) school, the rest of the children would be outside playing ‘Four Square’, ‘Wall Ball’ or on the ‘Big Toy’ and I would be in the library.  Either reading or helping the librarian stack shelves.  I know – I shouldn’t even admit it *embarrassed*.  But it was too hot outside and I was much happier indoors with air conditioning.  Not to mention my immense dislike for actually moving and getting all sweaty!

At secondary school (boarding) I used to hide whatever I was reading under the desk and read during lesson time.  Mostly Sweet Valley High and then later Mills & Boon!

When I started my Teaching Studies degree, we had Children’s Literature modules.  And many other modules focused on children’s books (Mostly Key Stage 1, as it was my chosen age-range).  There were discussions about our favourite books when we were children, compare and contrast essays to write and character profiles to make.  

But something was wrong.

I did not know ANY of the books that they were talking about!  I had never heard of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, ‘Farmer Duck’ or ‘Hairy Maclary’.  All the books I knew were by American authors (and I can’t even remember any of them now.  Apart from The Berenstein Bears.)

And I couldn’t even check which books we had at home, because once we all went to the UK, my mum gave all the children’s books away.  The only ones I found were these:


That was when I decided that I would start building up my own collection of children’s books.  They would help me through university, my classroom years and I would keep them for my own children.

And so it started.  I would go to the local library every few weeks and buy their old books for 20p or 30p.  I spent hours and hours in Waterstones, Dillons, Borders and Foyles (oh, how I love Foyles).  There was also a shop in Covent Garden called The Banana Bookshop – I bought a Big Book of ‘Dogger’ by Shirley Hughes (and many others) there for £2.50.  And I continued doing this during the four years I taught in London.

I was at a small independent school near Regent’s Park and it wasn’t particularly well-resourced.  So when I needed a book for Literacy, or any other subject, I would go out and buy it.  And then keep it!  I did the same for all the books on the Year 2 Sats reading list.

Once I left London, it was getting a little more difficult to buy them.  Only because they were heavy to bring back to Lagos.  I am the queen of excess luggage, so a few books probably won’t have made a difference, actually…

Today, I went through all the books.  Jesus, there are a LOT of them!


Please ignore pink tiles on floor (don’t ask!).


There was still another shelf filled with books – but half-way through taking all these down I realised I’d have to put them all back!

I feel sad that I haven’t bought any books in a long time – apart from board books and those taggie things.  Maybe I should start ordering some more on Amazon…

I hope V develops a love for reading as I have.  And I can’t wait to share all these books with him!