CBCA Book Week Challenge: Under the Covers

August 22, 2012 Ka'ela Ja'el
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Over on her blog, Tansy Rayner Roberts is celebrating the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week, and she has challenged people to talk about their childhood reading.

I decided this year I want to do something fun on the blog to celebrate Book Week, as I usually forget about it until it’s too late. So I’m going to write some posts about my childhood reading, not only favourite books, but how I read them and why I still remember them.

So I thought I might try and take up her invitation.

Under the Covers

Today I’m not talking about what I read, so much as how I read.

As a kid, if I was on my own, my nose was seldom out of a book…walking to school, at school, walking home from school, even during school if I thought I could get away with it. Trips  in the car, to the shop, or on holidays. And in bed. Especially in bed.

There’s probably very few avid child readers who didn’t read under the covers. I know I did, which is a big reason I was able to read five or six novels a week.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t fortunate enough to possess a torch, so I had to Make Do. and for a long time the only source of light I had was my digital watch. This tiny little thing that Dad brought back from an overseas trip when I was eight. I would hold the light on and move the light across the page, line by line, word by word. It was tedious, yes, and I’m pretty sure I developed a callous on my thumb from holding the light button down, but when I finished a book at three in the morning and curled up asleep, I was sure it was worth it. The good thing about the digital watch light was that it didn’t cast a glow that might be seen under my door, which meant I didn’t need to hide under the covers –  a good thing, too, as our house wasn’t air conditioned and temperatures were in the mid 20’s at night time, so it could get a bit stifling under the bedspread.

Eventually my watch battery died, and I had to find a replacement. I was at a loss for quite a while, until I discovered Brusome’s calculator. It had luminescent green numbers, so I would press 88888888, and add it to the (M)emory to maximise the light output, and then continue happily reading.

When I had children of my own, my daughter would read by the light coming through the crack under her door, or by the light of the tiny little sewing machine my mum had bought her.

Did I just live a deprived childhood? Were you lucky enough to have a torch? Or did your parents love you enough to provide a LAMP?  😛

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Entry Filed under: Reading

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