I became addicted when I was a very young girl and they are still my favourite fix. Squirrelled under the covers of my duvet, cosy and hiding from the real world as a child, I read books as if my life depended on it.
Hundreds of hours spent escaped into alternative worlds of mystery, fantasy and times gone by.
I was not, am not, discriminatory and it is rare I don’t finish a book.
My sister and I are very different but we share this trait – we read at the speed of light. We read, we re-read, and we use books as a prop to our real worlds.
My house resembles a library, or as one friend put it, a charity shop book shelf. My books provide a service – not least insulating several walls of the house.
These are not colour-coded, untouched, alphabetically ordered home accessories but real, much-loved, dropped into the bath, curly cornered and much thumbed friends.
So after a day of news and facts, I turn to fiction, where stories start at the beginning and finish at the end with satisfying results.
I love the weight and feel of a good book as I love the papery smell and pleasing texture of newspapers, but I’m no Luddite.
I’m as happy online as in print and my Kindle sits next to my bed, propped up by a couple of books, naturally. After all, I can’t take that in the bath. OK, maybe I did once or twice.
It was my love of books that made me a writer and a journalist – where the story comes first and there is always another to hand.
But the reality is that the facts of news reporting are often more shocking than fiction which is why, to escape, I turn to stories that come with a happy ending and a resolution of sorts.
And when I write, away from the unrelenting cycle of news and features reporting, I am a strong believer in a beginning and an ending. Life always comes full circle, as should fiction.
If the world was a like a novel, life would have more certainties and the characters in our life more appeal. The goodies will always get the baddies. So I will read until the end of my own story.