Why I Read : By Emma O'Connor

I fell in love with reading when I was seven years old. My teacher would assign weekly books, which I would devour. I struggled to learn at the start, but my mother encouraged and supported me outside of the classroom and my love for reading and books grew.

         Roald Dahl and Jacqueline Wilson were my two favourite authors as a child. Even now I still can pick up one of their novels and let them take me back to another time. Another place where the whole world seemed so big and limitless. I would join James and Charlie on their adventures, and I would stand beside Mandy from ‘Bad Girls’ as she worked her way through school and the bullies that she had to face.

         I enjoy looking back and seeing how far I’ve come, and where I want to go next. I love to look back with one of my childhood authors. In an ever-changing world, it’s a wonderful thing to have the constant of a book that will stand the test of time. I read new novels to learn, to see life and experiences from someone else’s eyes. I have walked the streets on Panem with Katniss Everdeen, I have seen the injustices of racism and divide thought the eyes of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. The story of two best friends trying to make it in the world with impossible obstacles has stayed with me through my own adolescent and adulthood.

         I believe the books we read as children help mould who we are as adults. Studies have shown that those who have read Harry Potter, are more accepting and tolerant to those different to themselves. It sparks imagination, ambition and most of all it inspires us to be the best versions of ourselves, even when we don’t think we can be. So even if we only read a few times a year, it is essentially important to our own development and making our way through this world.