It goes without saying at bedtime in my house that the children have a story. Sometimes, T reads to his little sister. Occasionally, I read to one child while MNQTH reads to the other. But mostly, we all sit together and listen to one story. It’s a lovely time for all of us to wind down together at the end of a hectic day. T has a bookshelf overflowing with books; some are firm favourites, some are perhaps ready to pass on to his little sister, some are yet to be read. There are far too many books on there really; they are usually found strewn across the bedroom. Already, at 21 months old, G is developing favourites – the “That’s not my…” books are also often found across the bedroom floor. I’m sensing a pattern developing here. But if I’m honest, who am I to complain? They enjoy rummaging through their books, reading them and then moving on to another. MNQTH and I also love reading – admittedly, we don’t get to as much as we would like, but as children, we always had our heads in a book. It’s a love we developed as young children which has stayed with us forever.
So many children don’t have the opportunity to develop this love. For them, reading is something they get told off at school for not having done enough of at home. You know the ones: they take their school books home, and they never return. Eventually, the school stop sending them, as it’s costing too much money in lost books. They probably haven’t ever had a bedtime story, and certainly don’t have shelves overflowing with books – just the ones they’ve not returned from school. The chances are, they don’t have someone at home who is willing to take them to the library.
www.pledgeabook.com has been set up to help children like these. People who are in a position to do so can pledge a book to the charity, which will then be sent out to a child who has no or few books at home. I know that many of these children may have bigger issues in their lives than not having books, but here is way that we can help them to be just what they are: children. We can help them to escape their own lives for a short while, to disappear into a different place for a time or to get lost in the pictures. We can do something small to make a big difference to these children’s lives.
You can send books by post, order from an Amazon wishlist or just donate money – whichever way you pledge, it’s just a small amount. I’m sure my children wouldn’t mind forgoing another new book for the sake of someone who has none.
I’ve pledged my first book – I chose Esio Trot by Roald Dahl, as it’s one of my favourites. I’m not in a position to send copious amounts of books at once, but I can send one whenever I have a few spare pounds.
Please send a book, and encourage everyone you know who loves to read to do the same.