I can't remember having to learn to read. I just know that as soon as I could read, I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I remember reading Jane Eyre when I was very young, because it was the only book in the house which I hadn't read, I remember it had very small print, and how sad I was when Jane's friend died.
I read quickly and I remember what I have read. Although for some reason spellings have never stuck with me.
Because there were never enough books around as I was growing up, I would re-read favourites, sometimes many times over - The Hobbit was one of those, although The Lord of the Rings never grabbed me in the same way - and they were never boring.
We had a Mobile Library visited the village, fortnightly on a Tuesday. It parked near the War Memorial at the bottom of Chalk Lane, and there was always a crowd of people waiting to return books and pick up more. We were allowed six books at a time and I always picked my full allocation.
For some reason my dad wouldn't let me and my sister have any Dr Seuss books, so these were a guilty pleasure to be devoured while in the Mobile Library.
I discovered my first spell book in that Mobile Library, a chunky book called 'Black and White Magic' which fascinated me with its ancient spells and invocations. One I remember was an extract of an ancient Babylonian call to the God of the Winds:
Come hither, my Lord,
Let down your locks, so long and flowing.
My fascination with books continues to this day - and luckily Graham enjoys books too, as our home is packed with them. There are books in every room.
My main problem is often finding the book I am looking for, as I tend to carry them around with me and put them down in odd places.
Incidentally the same applies to pens and specs, and has led to me having pens and pairs of glasses dotted around the house, so that there are always some to hand. Occasionally these form 'drifts', accumulating in certain places. Graham counted five pairs of specs (of different strengths, I hasten to add in my own defence) on the table where I had a jigsaw puzzle under construction.
I go through phases of what I am reading and I always have a pile of books on the go at the same time, a variety and cross-section of many interests, to pick up as the mood takes me. Sometimes it is fiction which could be 'chick lit' (I love a romance with a happy ending), magical research, reference, biography, historical, sf, fantasy or even comedy.
Sometimes I like to just dip into a book and read from wherever it has randomly opened. At other times I will read straight through from cover to cover. Graham laughs at me because with fiction I often read the end of the book first, to make sure that I want to read the book which leads to that particular ending.
My argument is: do I want to invest in getting to know and love a character, only to discover they end up being miserable or die at the end? Mind you that doesn't always hold true.
One of my favourite recent fiction books is 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes, and that is a real tear jerker.