For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to READ!

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. But you MUST read books!

I, (Bride/Groom), take you (Groom/Bride), to be my (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part…as long as you read!

Anna Ingers-Wakefield is one of our NTU placement students who has joined us on school visits, helped with research and focus groups and generally been happy to dab in wherever needed. But her biggest challenge so far has been convincing her hubby to read…

I first met James at the Reading Flashmob in July last year (I’m the headless one in the green dress, 6 seconds in) and now we’re working together on Dawn of the Unread. I initially went to the Flashmob because I feel very passionately about the closure of bookshops and cuts faced by libraries, and the idea that poor little aged books would be left homeless is something that I couldn’t live with. Not enough people my age and younger read anymore – including my own husband – and this is an issue that I am actively trying to change, an ideology that naturally drew me to James and his cause.

The ‘husband thing’ is something that used to really get under my skin. I tried and tried, but no matter what – that boy just would not pick up a book. He’d dismiss me with a shrug and that was that. Or so he thought. Thanks to the Flashmob and DOTU’s overall message, though, oh-darling-hubby-of-mine picked up a book to join me on that fateful day in front of Cloughy, and has been reading – albeit rather slowly – ever since, starting with the popular trilogy The Hunger Games that I recommended to him.

One element of DOTU is looking at how the digital world can draw people to read physical books – a theme that is consistent throughout the literature we’ve produced so far. This is something that I find rather funny, though, because my father reads a Kindle, and I seem to be stuck in my old ways, unable to pick up anything to read that isn’t a book – even a glossy mag is pushing it (I know, ancient right?). In addition, it also rubs me the wrong way that my father has 12,000 followers on Twitter and I’ve barely broken 100. So not bitter. While I know this should probably be the other way round, in our house things are a bit unconventional, and this is a constant source of bullying at my expense – ‘Oh Anna you’re living in the middle ages; Anna why are you so unpopular’ etc. – by my loving and doting 50-something year old Dad.

king

In all seriousness, though, books are something that I have grown up with, and my dad encouraged me to start young. Reading enabled me to escape the misery of the real world and is a pastime I still adore to this day. Reading will always be timeless, but nothing can beat the flesh of a real physical book. So if you fancy visiting a library, check out these recommendations.
•    Darren Shan and his Cirque Du Freak series (this was one of the first series’ I really got in to, and one of the first to influence my reading pattern when I was about 11. As a series it’s brilliant – all about gore and vampires but without ever patronising its intended teenage audience. His Lord Loss series is also an addictively good read; one which me and my hubby have both read.
•    Stephen King is an author I personally love and would recommend all of his work. I read Eyes of the Dragon when I was eight or nine which introduced my lifelong passion for the fantasy genre.
•    Naturally the Harry Potter series has to be on my go-to fantasy read list. It really helped the little nerdy me when I was being bullied growing up.

And you can’t go wrong with Manga. One of my personal highlights of the Dawn of the Unread project so far was holding a Manga reading focus group at Djanogly Academy in March. So what are you waiting for, get reading. If my hubby can do it, anyone can…

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3 thoughts on “For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to READ!

  1. Fantastic Anna. The touch and feel of a book when you turn the pages is something that cannot be replaced by an app. Nothing compares with the written word and to be able to delve into the hidden worlds of all genre is an amazing journey. Reading opens the world to so many opportunities and to so many adventures. Continue your journey and Jamie will follow (as every good husband should) x

    • I started a feature in LeftLion called Readers’ Wives, which is about a poor woman married to a man who won’t stop reading. But perhaps it should be changed to Readers’ Husbands…

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