From all my years of reading, there’s one childhood book that has a special place in my heart and that’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Just thinking about it now I’m transported back to school and waiting excitedly for the teacher to read it out loud to the class. I remember being completely captivated by the funny characters and the strange things that happened to them. It was amazing to me that there could be so much adventure and fun in those simple pages. That one Roald Dahl book gave me the gift of reading and sparked a lifelong love of books.
Recently I was talking about unforgettable childhood books with a friend. Hers was the classic children’s book; Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree. She says she was hooked by the magical, make-believe stories – which not only encouraged her to read more, they also inspired her to become a writer.
As we chatted I realised it wasn’t just the book itself that had such a big impact on my life. My teacher used to read us a new chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every Friday, so whatever else was going on around me, I knew that I could rely on that one day to safely lose myself in another world. There was something really comforting in that, and I’ve loved Roald Dahl books ever since.
Sparking a lifelong love of reading with a childhood book
I think those feelings have been passed onto Tidy Books. From the start I wanted to make books easily accessible to children, so I designed slimline products that fitted easily into the home and gave kids their own little reading space. I liked the idea of kids having control over their books, too – hence the front-facing bookcase that means they can easily pick their favourite book. And most of all I wanted to create a reading environment that felt like their own special haven.
I’m so happy that I discovered that one book when I was 5 – it really did feel like I’d been given a gift of reading. I’d love to think that someone right now is discovering their unforgettable book. And that one day, years from now, they will look back and remember that Tidy Books was with them when they found it.
* What’s the childhood book that you’ve never forgotten? I’d love to know so pop me a line