A long time ago in a library far away: 6 weeks of summer reading magic

When I was a teen, the best thing about the summer holidays was that I had so much time for reading. I’d go to the YA section of my local library, borrow the maximum number of books allowed (twelve, I think), and carry them home in a sturdy shopping bag. The sharp corners of the hardbacks thumped against my legs as I hauled my treasure back.

In my bedroom, I’d sort the books alphabetically by author name. This solved the problem of which to read first. Then I’d get on with the serious business of reading. I remember literally spending all day absorbed in books (and much of the night sometimes). I must’ve done other things too, other than read and go to the library, but obviously they haven’t impacted as much on my memories.

I was willing to try most things in the YA section, which was divided into books for younger and older teenagers. I borrowed a lot of the Point Horror series (if you’ve read those, you’ll know that some of them were good, some were mediocre and others were rubbish), plus books about vampires, magic and aliens. As well as fantasy and horror, I liked gritty realism and historical novels. I didn’t read much of the chick lit books about crushes and friends and fashion, but I gave them a go.

Do I wish those days were back? No – while it would be nice to have more time to read and relax, I no longer have the concentration span required for hours of uninterrupted reading. I suspect it’s because there are more claims on my attention now. I still love to read though – offer me a book or a chocolate bar, and I’ll always choose the book.

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