What can I say? You’ve been by my side for as long as I can remember: from childhood fairytales to midlife learning; from university libraries to cosy Tuesday afternoons with a cup of tea and a cat on my lap. The world opened up thanks to you.
When life hurt you offered shelter under Ladybird wings, gifted Shakespeare to my confused teenage mind. I got out of hospital and you knew I needed cartoon comfort, leaving Calvin and Hobbes on my bed. Health fears and lockdowns had you rummaging around for something new to surprise me with – the poems of John O’Donohue.
When life was light you offered Thomas Hardy to share my university journey, dropping copies of anything by Neil Gaiman when I was ready to escape into other worlds. When laughter was required you reached out a hand to tickle my sides with Bill Bryson. Lately you seem to know that my mind needs to be expanded and I found a 500-page tome by Yuval Noah Harari on my desk.
Most of all, you’ve pushed The Great Gatsby into my hands at regular intervals to bring me home. Words heal, you taught me that. And I’ll always be grateful.
Happy World Book Day.
“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” Annie Dillard