Glennis Hooper - You can’t beat a book

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Something I look forward to every day is going to bed with a good book.

Reading always helps me to relax and to put aside the issues of the day before. For as long as I remember I have always loved reading and owning or borrowing books. I still have the copy of Wind in the Willows that my Grandma and Grandad gave me back in 1966 priced 7/6d (37.5p). I also have a treasured encyclopaedia given to me by my dad when I was 10 years old with a lovely written personal inscription and a copy of Shadow the Sheepdog, written by Enid Blyton; the very first book I purchased from a book club I belonged to which had wonderful black and white pen and ink drawings. I will always treasure them and many more that I have in my collection, which is vast.

As a teacher I hope my love of books and reading was conveyed to the children; my classroom always had a great selection of reading material to encourage pupils to share the passion, curl up in the reading area and be transformed into another world for a short while, as well as learning new things. As my career developed, I and most teachers were saddened, if not appalled, when the government decided to ban many books so loved by children and previous generations and to clear school libraries to make way for more liberal reading schemes and reference books, the computer and the internet.

Now, of course, there is the question of whether we should consider using the innovative Kindle – a small, flat hand-held item that, at a touch of a button or key, enables you to download and read literally thousands of books. I was inquisitive as I do try to keep up with modern trends (although, as my friends will agree, I am still coming to terms with using the mobile phone and a Blackberry!) but I was not impressed. Nothing can beat the physical act of picking up a brightly coloured book with beautiful illustrations, or waiting to buy the latest novel of a favoured author, sitting down, or lying in bed and beginning to read the opening words...

No, my vote will always be for the real book.

Talking of books – why not book a date into your diary or personal planner for our 10th Anniversary Charity Sponsored Walk at Wicksteed Park on Sunday, March 18? Entry forms are now available either from our office (01933 – 442999) or by downloading from our website: www.crazyhatsbreastcancerappeal.co.uk.

We really do look forward to receiving your entries to make this year’s anniversary walk the best yet and to reach the magical figure of 3,000-plus.