Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Books, Reading and Libraries

Book Week Scotland is running all this week at libraries around the country up here, with a huge variety of events for all ages. My daughter Victoria and I were lucky enough to be invited to take part at a local library last night (Monday) and it was a very enjoyable event. It's the first time we've spoken as mother/daughter writers and were both delighted to have this opportunity.

While listening to Victoria's part of the talk and presentation, I was so pleased to hear how much early trips to the library had affected her life and made her the prolific reader she has always been. As a young mother, books were often what got me through difficult days, especially when our large Victorian semi at that time had dry rot on three floors! I've always loved escaping inside the pages of a story since my own youth.

Part of the display

It was this love of reading that encouraged us both to write and no mother could have been more touched to hear how my writing and a house full of books had inspired my daughter to write her own stories from a young age - complete with her own illustrations! It struck us both how much poorer many people's lives would have been without a local library and it's good to see so many still around and being used.

Of course computers are a valuable addition for many, but the librarian mentioned that three of the Inverclyde libraries have a book group each week. What an encouragement to readers, and writers. The library I spoke at last year also had a writing group and when a couple of them attended my talk they then asked me to go and speak at their group. Long may libraries and events like Book Week Scotland continue to encourage a love of reading.

And talking of books, I'm delighted that my latest novel, Return to Kilcraig, is included in this Holiday Gift Guide from Mrs. N.N.Light - with books for all ages.

Happy reading!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and Victoria on such enjoyable and informative talks. The venue was great too - I must go again. Love Catriona XO

Julia Thorley said...

How grand to be able to perform together. I'm also sure that spending every Saturday morning at my local library made me into the reader and writer I am today. Long may they continue - though I must confess I miss the old date stamp in the book. Self-checkout just isn't the same.

Joan Fleming said...

A great opportunity for you and Victoria to speak at the same event! Could you make a habit of this?

The libraries on our area (East Dunbartonshire) are also well frequented and are staging events this week. I hope this will encourage even more people to join a local library and use the facilities they have to offer.

Patsy said...

My mum read a lot when I was a kid and encouraged me to do the same. I'm very glad about that.

Gail Crane said...

I can't imagine a world without books and how lovely to be able to share your love of writing with your daughter. And lovely for her too, of course, to be able to share with you.

Joanna said...

How lovely for you and Vikki to take part as mother-daughter writers and what a gorgeous picture of you both. Libraries are so important and our local one was my favourite place. I loved the hushed atmosphere and the calm as well as all the books. I couldn't imagine my life without books, neither then nor now. And how wonderful that Vikki talked of the inspiration you and your home filled with books had given her from an early age. And fabulous news too that Return to Kilcraig is included in the Holiday Gift Guide - very well-deserved indeed! xxx

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks a lot for coming along, Catriona - it's a beautiful building!

I'm sure many of us have such lovely memories, Julia - yes, the old date stamp is so nostalgic!

It was a first, but maybe not the last, Joan! Good to hear your libraries are doing well too.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Yes - there's no doubt that parents can have a huge effect on a child's reading pleasure (and ability), Patsy!

It was lovely sharing this moment and love of reading and writing, Gail!

Many thanks, Joanna. You'll understand how special it is having a daughter(s) who shares your love of reading and writing. I well remember that lovely peaceful atmosphere in the library and the hundreds of adventures waiting to be discovered!

Bill Kirton said...

There are lots of pleasures in being a writer but being part of a parent/child authorial combination must be extra special. It's great to know the two of you.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for your very kind comment, Bill - we both enjoyed this new experience of appearing together. And we are both very pleased to know you!

Carolb said...

Congratulations to both you and Victoria on your successful event. And it's lovely to see the photo of you both together. :-)

My mum taking me to the library each week when I was a child, was important to me too, and my love of books.

Nicola said...

What a lovely event. Working with Victoria must give you both such pleasure. Moments to cherish. So pleased the library is working hard to encourage reading. I used to love going to the library as a child. I remember sitting in the school library (I was alone, so perhaps I was sciving lessons - I can't remember), reading through the ladybird stories: Magic Porridge Pot, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Three Little Pigs, The Ugly Duckling and many more. Cherished moments. Have a lovely weekend, Rosemary.