PAGE TURNER: Books read during their formative school years can stick with students long after memories of what was taught in a subject fade.
PAGE TURNER: Books read during their formative school years can stick with students long after memories of what was taught in a subject fade. Kate Dodd

Opinion: schoolkids must read widely and regularly

AFTER putting a call-out on Facebook, we were heartened to see so many pictures of smiling young students starting back at school for the year.

It made me think back to my primary school years.

Furrowing my brow for a while, I realised there is not so much I can recall.

Strangely enough, one of my clearest memories is being taught about how oxbow lakes form.

I have not as yet found anywhere to apply that knowledge, but I will dredge it up with relish when I finally receive a trivia question on that exact topic.

But make no mistake, primary school years are formative and vital, even though, like me, all these smiling young faces will almost altogether forget the experience by the time they are in their mid-20s.

What sticks with me most is the books I read during those years.

I voraciously devoured John Marsden's Tomorrow young-adult series, Paul Jennings' collections of quirky short stories and also Andy Griffiths' works.

To my Dad's horror, I even once tried to read one of his Charles Bukowski novels, which was full of swear words and vivid sex scenes.

I had got as far as the first sex scene, my eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree, before Dad snatched it from my grasp.

My point is, books are just as important as any school subject and can have the ability of burrowing themselves deeper in a young mind than any lesson.


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