If you are in my age bracket, you will remember the original Ladybird range of books. I loved these books because they were accessible, colourful and full of facts and fiction. Each week, I spent my pocket money on a new one, collecting quite a number which, sadly, I no longer have. As this range of books were quite consumable, I could not wait to start reading them.
Buying a book and then walking home does come with a health warning. Enthusiastically, I would start reading the book as I walked, occasionally looking up for navigation purposes. On one occasion, I was not concentrating on my environment, rather on what was going to happen to my heroine in the story; needing to turn the page and continue reading in full knowledge that the heroine was not going to wait for me or, in truth, that I was not going to wait to find out her fate. I did not notice the obstacle in my way and walked headfirst into a lamppost. Next thing I remember was lying on the floor, book on my face and a throbbing forehead. Warning – try to avoid reading and walking!
Unlike my sister, as a child, I was fortunate in as much as I could read whilst travelling; a long journey was an extended opportunity for me to read. Unfortunately, this was not the case for my sister who loved reading but travelling and reading was problematic. Not easy to forget the time when, in the back of our car, she was sick all over me because she was reading. Warning – avoid reading when travelling if you suffer from travel sickness!
Reading in the bath is a luxury I enjoy. I have managed to successfully work out the logistics of this and can enter the world of the book without incident. However, there was one occasion when my planning was not comprehensive enough. I had started running the bath, the bubbles were just beginning to amass, so, whilst waiting, I started reading my chosen book. Not concentrating on the running bath, just in time I noticed the water was rising high and I turned the taps off. Phew, no flooding. Flooding, as it happens, was not the only potential disaster. Getting into the bath was a quickly reverted process as the water was boiling hot – clearly, I had forgotten to add enough cold water! The retraction of my foot and leg, however, was not quick enough for the book I was holding to be saved from landing in the bath water. The book was retrieved and left to dry on the radiator as I nursed my injury. Unfortunately, I later discovered that the handwritten author’s ink signature in the front of the book was now a blur and my foot and lower leg were very red! Warning – take all precautions when venturing to read in the bath!
In the overall scheme of things, though, the pleasures of reading out way the dangers. Avoid reading and walking, take reasonable measures when reading and travelling, and plan carefully when mixing reading and water. With simple precautions, your reading experience will be a safe and most beneficial one.