Books can change lives

By Ana Filipa Madureira

The Liverpool author Amanda Brooke revealed how books changed her life and what to do to make children read for pleasure in celebration of the International Boog Giving Day.  

The film industry and the digital evolution have been pushing children, and adults, from reading books.

The impact of reading for pleasure in children have been found, by studies carried out in 2013, to be four times greater on academic success than one parent having a degree.

But, the numbers still show that one third of the children in the UK don’t own a book.

Amanda Brooke, an author from Liverpool, recognises that reading can have a positive impact on people’s mental health.

She said, “When you’re watching TV or listening to music your mind pulls you elsewhere and you think about things that you might be stressing over or get anxious about. Reading is far more active and far more demanding of your imagination, you can’t let yourself drift off.”

A study carried out last year by the National Literacy Trust proves her point by proving that children who enjoy reading are significantly less likely to have mental health problems.

But to encourage the kids to read the 52-year-old says: “It has to start with the parents! A lot of programmes for kids on TV come from books, so why not get them to look at the book behind that?”

The author of “Don’t turn around” adds: “If you pick up a book and it doesn’t grab you it might not be your genera but there are lots of other books out there. And if reading a book is too much of a commitment then there are short stories and books that are a compilation of stories. You’ll know when you find the right book for you.”

The author of nine books was first interested in computers but changed her career in her 40s’ after losing her son in 2006.

Nathan was 3 years and 10 months old when he died after fighting a 2-year-old battle against a rare and chronic form of leukaemia.

The mother of two said, “During his illness, and then after he died, I was drawn to writing because that was how I could explain my emotions. I couldn’t talk to people, so I wrote poems.

“My little boy changed my life, changed what I wanted to do, changed my career.”

To celebrate this day, if you have books that you don’t want any more take it to a school or charity and you might be making a difference in someone’s life.

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