A few paragraphs from our Amazon/Kindle E-Book: ‘Hints for all granddaughters’ A TREASURE HOUSE JUST FOR YOU
Did you know that in each town and large village there is a treasure House built by the public for the public: including you? All are invited to visit it as often as they like and to help themselves to the treasures, am I dreaming? It depends on how you define treasure. Gold, Silver Precious gems? These are lovely but can be lost, stolen or become a millstone around your neck. These treasures are all forms of knowledge that you can keep safely in your mind where none can steal them. I am describing a treasure house of ideas, other peoples’ thoughts and deeds, travels, tales of afar, journeys into the mind. Histories of long dead races; their achievements and failures and their hopes and fears, brought to life with their lessons for us to learn from, by the magic of words. There you would find treasures of arts and skills that you could teach your self in your own time and at your own speed of learning with no compulsion from anyone. Also you would find treasures of fact, fiction, and fantasy, a treasure for every need, and for every taste.
Whatever are your plans for the future, someone somewhere has either succeeded or failed to do the same thing in the past. For you to be able to learn from their successes and mistakes is treasure indeed. Their stories you will find along with all of the other treasures down at your local public library. You only have to make the effort to get yourself there and to ask for what you need, or simply browse until you find it. The person who in their teens cultivates the habit of reading would soon find that they enjoy it. You would have then opened your mind to the world of ideas, imagination and self-education. Your word power, vocabulary, sentence structure and grammar would improve without you even realizing it, as would your general knowledge, deftness of phrasing, humor and wit. Even more valuable than all of that; a book is a friend, and a diversion or temporary escape how ever rough life becomes for you. The glowing terms I have used about the joys of reading are from my heart, and are offered to you here after an ongoing sixty-year-old love affair with literature in its many forms. At the same time I can understand your difficulty in agreeing with my views if, as many find, your preparation for the English Literature exam involves studying, analyzing and virtually dissecting some classical work by, for example, Chaucer, Though doing so serves a definite purpose in your education, it is rather like stripping a beautiful rose to pieces to discover how it is made; The magic is lost. So I beg you to remember that it could spoil a pleasure that would last you a lifetime if, in your mind, you confuse compulsory school reading of prose and poetry with reading from choice for pleasure. This same confusion can, and has for many people denied them the pleasure and satisfaction that could have been gained from amateur writing, painting and all the many forms of artistic creativity. Compelled to attempt these subjects at school with the emphasis on gaining marks not satisfaction, they nervously avoid them for the rest of their lives.