Costume ideas for World Book Day

WBD2016_blue_rightdownWorld Book Day gets bigger every year. On the one hand this is excellent news. Anything that gets people, and especially kids, talking about and sharing books is fantastic. However, the dressing up thing can be a bit of a drag for time-poor, unimaginative parents with stubborn children.

This year, Toby’s school is fully embracing the fancy dress theme, encouraging all children to dress as their favourite character from their favourite book AND bring in a copy of the book too (so that should put a stop to all the Batmans and Supermans that regularly turn out).

Regular readers of this blog (that’ll be the two of you then) will realise that we are no strangers to a book in our house. Toby could have picked from a vast selection of characters from a wide range of books. So what was his response to the brief? Continue reading


My sort-of favourite books

As part of the office banter on a free-spirited Friday afternoon a new colleague started asking everyone what their favourite book is.

I couldn’t answer. I gave a few titles that jumped to the forefront of my mind under duress in a lukewarm attempt to join in but I didn’t feel my answer was all that sincere.

You see this type of question can be unconsciously teasing out whether you might be someone’s “type of person”. When someone asks a question like that it can often be a shorthand way to identify your educational or intelligence level, your social class, or your cultural parameters. Continue reading

Why I love libraries

One of my early career goals was to be a librarian. I was probably six or seven when I set upon this dream, and it didn’t last long. I think I simply enjoyed the way libraries made me feel: calm and safe and full of possibility.


I took my first trip to the library, aged five, accompanied by my dad. Getting my first library card felt like an important rite of passage. If my memory serves me correctly, the card was a small pink envelope thing with a slip of paper that the librarian recorded all the borrowed books on. Or something like that. Continue reading