We are experiencing a very different Book Week this year for obvious reasons, whilst the importance of books and reading has never been more important. The significant rise in book sales reflects our present home-based circumstances; we can’t escape physically but can disappear into a good book which might take us to the moon and back or just around the corner. Reading also has the advantage of not only being enjoyable but, as has been widely documented, can play an important part in maintaining good mental health.
Despite not being in school we have focused on recommending a wide range of books during Book Week, via booklists, presentations and discussing our reading both in class and in various book groups. One huge positive is the enormous range of fantastic fiction and non-fiction available, partly because authors are mostly home workers and our present circumstances will have changed their working lives very little!
The younger girls in Senior School and Year 6 girls in Junior School are reading voraciously. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan is ever popular, as are fantasy stories in general including His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, very nice to read as well as watching the excellent tv series. Series of books, whether Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or Enola Holmes are also being devoured. It is good to see how the girls are naturally being drawn to reading non-fiction too, including books about the incredible women in science and Barack Obama to name just a couple of examples.
The older girls’ tastes are incredibly wide ranging; in Book Club we have discussed The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath to the latest YA fiction, of which there are many fantastic newly published books about and should make for a very competitive Carnegie Medal shadowing season, when it begins in March.
Members of staff also share thoughts on their latest reads in the Staff Lockdown Book Group; Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis are particularly popular.
Whilst taking advantage of the extra reading time we have at present I think we all look forward to a return to school and being back in the Library!