I'm a writer; but I was a reader first. We've been going through some baby photos and we spotted this one of me very proudly reading a book. I used to devour books and my favourite time of year was the summer, when the library had its Summer Reading Challenge.
It was meant to encourage children to read, not that I needed much. They did (and still do) these cool little charts that had spaces for stamps to show when you'd read a book. The aim was to fill the chart up. I always used to complete the challenge several times over. In fact I did a sponsored read once and cost my family a fortune because I read so many books.
Yesterday we paid a visit to one of my favourite places in the world - The Second Hand Bookshop at Blickling Hall. I spend hours and hours there, just looking round the shelves. It's an introverted bookworm's paradise. Quiet, peaceful and more books that you know what to do with.
I always pick up a bargain - despite my promise that I will finish the books I already have before getting any more. Yesterday was particularly tempting, I spotted lots I've wanted to read.
Admittedly the bottom three are for a book exchange my book club is organising next month. I had to find some books I'd read and enjoyed, to swap them with the other members. Problem is most of the books I've read are either from the library or I don't want to give away, so I had to find some I could use.
I'm looking forward to seeing what books I get back in exchange. More to add to my To Read List!
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.