My daughter loves to read. I am delighted. A lifetime of happiness opens up. When I see her reading at breakfast, reading in the car, coming out from school with her coat and bag under one arm and a book held open as she walks, I am thrilled. She will read anything. I used to try to keep up with her but I’ve given up. I cannot face “Milly Molly Mandy” or “The Naughtiest Girl in the School”. The other night, I found her reading “A Christmas Carol”. Not an abbreviated version for children but the original. She cannot have understood more than one word in ten but dogged determination kept her going to the bitter end. I suspect that this is much the same spirit that moved me to finish Winwood Reade’s “The Martyrdom of Man” aged 11 to the shock and awe of my parents who, I think, were both defeated by it – needless to say, I retain almost no memory of this seminal text.
She has started to use words that she has only found in books. So she talks of the “wilder ness” and is indignant to be told that it is not so pronounced; “but it’s spelt “wilder ness”” she protests. I have already told her about epitome so she won’t be caught out by that one.