I don't remember learning to read. I do remember reading: voraciously, excitedly, determinedly, and under the covers. I remember the gleeful rhymes and rhythms of Edward Lear and Doctor Seuss (read to me before I could talk, let alone read); the thrill and adventure of Enid Blyton; the cosy communities and solid moral teachings (slipped in like a dose of cod-liver oil disguised by lashings of ginger beer) of Brazil and Brent-Dyer; the new worlds of Tolkien. Later came the indescribable agonies of Plath, the absurd tragicomedy of Beckett (which seemed to make sense of the world's nonsense), and -- as I opened my eyes to the brave new world of the Upper Sixth -- T. S. Eliot, who opened my mind in ways that Huxley would have envied.
Studying English has never made me lose my love of reading, or of books -- familiar objects, imposing ornaments, badges of learning, doors into new universes, or (working for libraries and the Oxfam bookshop) blocks to be fitted into shelves, authors to be alphabetised, units to be shifted.
What I've been reading this year...
What Owen & I have been cataloguing: