There’s just a week to go until we head to the British Library Conference Centre for The Reader Organisation’s fourth annual National Conference, Shared Reading for Healthy Communities. It promises to be an enriching, enlightening day providing lots of inspirational answers to many burning questions about shared reading and public and mental health, libraries, education, addiction recovery, and dementia care.
As well as exploring the present and looking to the future to discover how a working, creative community can be built on reading, we’ll also be finding out how reading can profoundly affect the life of an individual. Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham MP will be joining us in London, rounding off our ‘Healthy People’ morning session by discussing the difference reading English has made to his life and revealing the books that have built him.
In anticipation, we would love to know: which books have built you? Is there something that you read when you were young that taught you a valuable life lesson outside of the classroom? Perhaps a book that marked a coming-of-age watershed? Do you have a novel that defines your life up to now and is always one to revisit?
We’ve already had some great selections on Twitter, including To Kill A Mockingbird, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Noughts and Crosses, Little Women and Great Expectations, provoking a range of responses: bravery, self-confidence, empowerment, as well as the tough lesson that life doesn’t always work out the way you think it will but equally, the importance of keeping going.