National Read A Book Day . . . what are Doncaster’s bookworms reading?

National read a book day - books.
National read a book day - books.

Ed Miliband, Rosie Winterton and Bobbie Roberts tell us about their favourite books and give out reading recommendations.

Books are a wonderful thing, providing many benefits to a reader no matter the genre you want to explore, such as transportation to different lands, relaxation and never-ending source of learning.

Today (Thursday September 6) is National Read A Book Day and we’re encouraging you to pick up a paperback, sink your teeth into a crime thriller or float away with a fairytale, writes Laura Andrew.

According to YouGov 19 per cent of people don’t read at all but 52 per cent are reading at least one book.

We asked some of Doncaster’s bookworms to tell us about their favourite books and give some reading recommendations.

Ellen Beardmore is key area editor for Doncaster Free Press. “I’ve been a real bookworm from a very young age”, said Ellen, now aged 31.

Dominic Giibs

Dominic Giibs

“I love to read whenever I have time and have a few favourite books that can be opened at any page, at any time, and enjoyed. On holiday I will get through all my choices, plus my husband’s, and start reading the hotel books before he has even finished half of one!

“The Adrian Mole series of books is a rare thing. The books are suitable for reading from teenage years right through to late adulthood, and only seem to improve each time they are read.

“I still find jokes in there that I haven’t noticed before now, even though I am catching up with the age of Adrian in the later editions.

“Another consistent favourite is Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. It’s a dark subject matter but the characters are complex and fascinating, and I love that it’s mostly written in Scottish dialect, too.

Charlotte Dimond.

Charlotte Dimond.

“One of the most recent books I’ve read is Jungle, A Harrowing Story of True Survival, by Yossi Ghinsberg.

“I ordered it after watching the film – starring Daniel Radcliffe – and read it cover to cover in one sitting. It’s an incredible story of a young Israeli man who gets lost in the Bolivian jungle and survives 21 days on his own. Reading is the best way to immerse yourself in adventures.”

Ed Milliband - MP for Doncaster North

When asked what his favourite book was the former Prime Minister said:" Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy. It’s author Douglas Adams was a genius who conjured an amazing world of science fiction with humour and emotion."

Books, books, books.

Books, books, books.

As a child, he enjoyed the Hardy Boy's series, mystery novels about child detectives. But nowadays Ed is reading 'Moneyball' by Michael Lewis. Which is about how the world of baseball was transformed by numbers and stats.

Ed said this about the importance of books: "Literature and books open up a world of adventure and imagination. It matters to our future as an economy and the character and creativity of our town."

Rosie Winterton - Doncaster MP

When asked what her favourite book was, the MP replied: “The Pursuit of Love” by Nancy Mitford.

“This was recommended to me by my mum and it is very funny, endlessly re-readable and an extraordinary portrait of 1930s society,” explained the MP.

As a child her favourite book was “Tom’s Midnight Garden” by Philippa Pearce. “Literature broadens the mind, is hugely enjoyable and plays an incredibly important part in a child’s development.

“The opening of the new library and museum in Doncaster will be a huge improvement and I would like to see schools doing all they can to encourage children to read.”

The MP is currently reading: “The Mars Room” by Rachel Kushner.

Charlotte Dimond - PR Practitioner

Charlotte’s favourite books are a tie between classics Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” and Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”.

She said: “there are so many of the ‘classics’ that I go back and read again and again.

“My degree was in English Literature and I studied the works of Austen so have a real love for them, ‘Great Expectations’ has a fantastic core message that loyalty and conscience are far more important than wealth.”

When Charlotte was a child her favourite book was the American classic “To Kill A Mockingbird,” a novel on many school curriculums.

Her love of reading stems from bedtime stories shared between her and her mother as a child, which were always performed with different voices and actions.

She continued: “Literature in Doncaster is vitally important because through stories we share experiences and people are invited, through the words on the pages, to step into someone else’s shoes and see life through their eyes.

“There is a lot of work already being done in this area and the Doncaster Book Awards, held at The Dome, have grown year on year.

“We also have the fantastic CAST theatre and they have brought some great children’s shows, based on books, to the town.

“It would be good to see more events like this and more opportunities for young people to see works brought to life.”

Like many a bookworm, Charlotte reads multiple books at a time, currently she is enjoying “The Ten Minute Strategist” by Martin Turner, “The Bed and Breakfast” by Kat French and “The Almost Moon” by Alice Sebold.

Bobbie Roberts - Chair of Doncaster Deaf Trust

Well known in Doncaster for her work with the Deaf Trust, Bobbie believes that literature should be accessible for all ages, one way of doing this in Doncaster she suggested was book stands in supermarkets.

Bobbie’s favourite books are not the latest James Pattinson or Martina Cole, her love affair with literature has somewhat of a deeper meaning.

She said: “All the books produced by the Dalai Lama because it has been pivotal to the way that I live.”

As a child she enjoyed the Famous Five books by Enid Blyton and has fond memories of “David Copperfield” being read to her by her father. She is currently reading “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad.

Dominic Gibbs - Owner Of Live Lounge

Books have the power to change the way we think and even live our lives, which Dominic knows all too well.

His favourite book is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter.

He said: “This book changed my thinking and changed my life. I quit my safe, well paid corporate job of 21 years to go and work for myself not knowing what I was actually going to do.”

As a child Dominic was more interested in the Liverpool Football Club Annual but currently is reading “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Samuel Clason.

Carol Shekle - Owner of Dreambakes

A keen reader and cake enthusiast, Carol told us about her love affair with books. “Since childhood, it’s a poor day that passes for me without reading a book.

“An early favourite was ‘First Term at Malory Towers’ by Enid Blyton.

“How I longed to be like the heroine Darrell Rivers – clever, popular and sporty!”

Today Carol reads a mix of Chick Lit and psychological thrillers. She has just finished reading “The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr” by Frances Maynard, a warm, uplifting story about a young woman with autism.

She continued: “I’d love to see Doncaster hosting a festival of literature, inviting authors such as Joanna Cannon, Rachel Joyce, Fiona Barton and last, but decidedly not least, the warm and witty Milly Johnson.”