Life

Potter and Waterstones

Hi, My name is Maria and I am a bookaholic…

I have a confession. I am addicted to buying and reading books. I can’t go in to a book shop, new or old, without buying a book. Instead of spending money on food, in my third week of university, I bought a set of leather bound classics from Oxfam and ate pasta for a week. I can’t help it.

I’ve been a book love since I can remember. Reading is an escape. Stuck in traffic on the bus, a book can take you anywhere. As a child, I read everything and anything from the H.C Andersen fairy tales to the Anthony Horowitz series to Thomas Hardy. I remember being tucked in to bed by my Dad and deciding which magical world I would be transported to. Some I visited repeatedly, even though I knew how the story would end, others only a few times but it was incredibly exciting. As I grew older, I would read what was popular, what my friends were reading or I’d even try and read what my older sister was reading.

When the first Harry Potter books exploded on to the reading scene, I wasn’t convinced. I have a tendency to be put off by massive hypes and so I never jumped on the Potter bandwagon. Once the books were out, and the films started, it was hard to avoid the Potter mania. I enjoyed the films yet I still couldn’t quite bring myself to read them until… About a two months ago, after a visit home to recover from being ill, I read The Philosophers Stone. Correction: I devoured it. The same with the second and third. I completely understand what the hype is about. The heroes become your friends, you join them on the Wizard chess board and in the chamber, no matter what your age is.

Books seem to be having a tough time at the moment. In my home city, Newcastle upon Tyne 10 out the 18 libraries in Newcastle will close bringing along with it the loss of at least 1,300 jobs because of funding cuts. In times of recession and global uncertainty, libraries are a vital source of knowledge and can bring about a sense of calm. Doctor Who famously said that “books are the best weapons in the world.” I don’t know much about wars and politics and how to fix this crisis we’re in but I bet the answer is hidden in the soft pages of a book.

Peace and Love,

Maria

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