My earliest memories of learning to read involve 'reading time' with my parents every evening. Each evening would be a new story book and would involve me showcasing my ever-growing reading skills with the support of my parents or older siblings. Home reading tended to support school reading and school texts throughout my primary school experience and reading for pleasure was encouraged with many trips to the local children's library. As a child I read a variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction and this broadened my knowledge as well as my understanding of a variety of different texts. My favourite books as a child were the Jacqueline Wilson series of books which had real-life accounts and funny anecdotes embedded in the text.
As I've grown older, reading for pleasure has sometimes been a challenge but I tend to opt for thought-provoking books which challenge ideas and encourage curiosity.
One of my favourite books is 'The Five People You Meet In Heaven' by Mitch Albom, a charming fictional text about a man recalling poignant and significant events and people in his lifetime. The book discusses how different events and relationships over the lifespan help to shape and mould an individual and is cleverly told by 83 year old Eddie throughout the story.
Recent news reports discuss how reading for pleasure is on the decline, particularly for children in the UK. I agree that there needs to be more emphasis on the joys of reading for pleasure and how it can contribute to a well-rounded education and passion to learn.