Tuesday 17 July 2018

My Narnia in a cupboard of books

Discovering a treasure trove of adventure stories as a child awakened a lifelong love of reading that brought both pleasure and knowledge, which today's youngsters can also find for themselves, writes Tom McCaughren

Novel approach: Former RTE security correspondent Tom McCaughren with some of the extensive collection of children’s books he has had published since becoming an author. Photo: David Conachy
Novel approach: Former RTE security correspondent Tom McCaughren with some of the extensive collection of children’s books he has had published since becoming an author. Photo: David Conachy

Tom McCaughren

It is in a wardrobe that the children of the Narnia story find their wonderland, but it was in a cupboard that I found mine. Rooting around in it, I discovered a number of books. Perhaps they belonged to my older brother, I don't know, but they soon became mine. They included Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, The Children of the New Forest and The Wind in the Willows - a treasure trove indeed that awakened in my young mind a love of reading.

This Christmas, I hope young people will put aside their iPhones and iPads, open a book and find the same kind of magic that I found.

During the last 30 years, I have visited about 250 schools and spoken to upwards of 25,000 pupils. I always tried to impress upon young people how important reading would be to them, not only as a source of pleasure but knowledge as they journeyed through life.

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