The Importance of Reading in Childhood


In March we released The Truth Lies Buried by Morton S. Gray in paperback. Today on the blog, Morton emphasises the importance of reading in childhood and talks about her own reading experiences as a child. 

My mother always read to me when I was young. As a result, I was reading myself aged four and well before I went to school a couple of days after my fifth birthday. I have fond memories of snuggling up to my mother’s side and listening to stories of fairies, giants and twins. I still have a few of the books from this time. Reading was just something we did for enjoyment and togetherness.

We used to go as a family to the local library every Saturday morning and all head off to different sections – me to children’s, Mom to fiction and Dad to local history. Our house was always full of books. Mom and Dad belonged to mail order book clubs and books would arrive in the post at regular intervals. In fact, the headboard of their bed incorporated shelves which had loads of books on them. I have no pictures of it, but can visualise it so easily in my mind – I wish I still had that headboard now!

Nan used to read to me on Sundays too, as well as teaching me to play card games. She usually read Rupert stories, pronounced the character names adorably strangely and tended to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence, leaving me to wonder how the story ended until she woke up.

My infant and junior school essays were full of caves, buried treasure and big brothers, stories mainly influenced by my love of Enid Blyton books. If you look closely at my novels, you can still see these influences even now, as I don’t believe my themes have progressed far from those early days! I still have a set of Famous Five and Secret Seven books which my nan sourced from somewhere.

I think I must end this post with a plea – if you have children or grandchildren please read to them, engender this love of books which will help them through life, bereavement, sickness and all that this world can throw at them. I truly believe it is vitally important in this digital age that we don’t lose the love of reading a good story (even if it is read digitally). I don’t think I would be an author without these early influences.

The Truth Lies Buried is available as a paperback, in eBook on all platforms and also as an audio book on Amazon and Audible. Click on the cover image above for purchasing options. 

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Christina Courtenay in the Libraries

rose1Despite all the threatened library closures and cut-backs, a lot of them are still arranging events for readers across the country, which I think is great. As the libraries liaison officer for the Romantic Novelists’ Association, I’m in contact with quite a few of them, but it is as an author that I will be visiting two libraries in the next couple of months.

First up, I’m taking part in the Redbridge Book and Media Festival 2011. On Wednesday 25th May I’ll be doing a talk at Woodford Green Library at 2.00pm. There will be an afternoon tea party while I speak, which sounds good. Personally, I think afternoon tea is one of the best British inventions ever, so I’m looking forward to that!

Then on Saturday 25th June I’ll be doing a Romantic Heroes workshop (how to create characters your readers fall in love with) together with Sue Moorcroft at Bromley Library, as part of their “Ladies Who Love” day – a celebration of romantic fiction. Juliet Archer will also be taking part, giving a talk on Austen and romantic fiction. This all promises to be great fun and as it’s the first time they have organised anything like this, I very much hope it will be a success so that it becomes a yearly event from now on. For more information on this have a look here. You can also join their Facebook page here.

If you haven’t got anything else to do, please come and join me/us at either event, we’d love to see you! And as always, with Choc Lit events, there will be some lovely Montezuma chocolates to keep us going. Perfect!