From then on I read anything. The ON/OFF switch on electric appliances. The words OPEN and CLOSED on shop doors. The WALK/DON'T WALK on traffic lights. The words MEN and WOMEN on public toilet doors; although at times they had pictures instead of words. That really foxed me.
I read everything. Even all the writings on the side of cereal packets and other packaging.
Reading helped me concentrate. That's what it said on the cartoon of fruit juice. ORANGE CONCENTRATE. So I did.
As a child I remember reading a book about three bears who entered a house which belonged to Goldilocks and found three beds of different sizes and slept in them. When the owner of the house came in she discovered they had eaten her porridge.
Reading taught me facts that could come useful in life. Like when you're in danger and you need a solution to save yourself from trouble.
Did you know for instance that if you are ever bitten by a shark you should wee on the wound? It takes all the sting away from it.
Or the most famous phrase in French is "La plume de ma tante"? It is in all the books that teach French; but I don't yet know what it means. If you're ever in France just say it and they'll understand you.
One year I went to France on holiday and saw an old lady in Montmartre in Paris sitting on the side-walk knitting. I asked her, “Voulez vous crochet avec moi?”
She answered something in French which I did not understand. Maybe it was her accent.
Did you also know why do Scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats? They have to go backwards. If they fell forwards, they'd still be in the boat.
I remember reading in a magazine that 11% of babies born in the UK are conceived in an IKEA bed; which is surprising considering those shops are usually well lit and crowded.
Also, the best way to get rid of monsters hiding under your bed is by cutting off the legs of the bed.
Reading also taught me about other countries and people. In Finland for instance they work very hard from dawn to dusk. Which is about an hour. As soon as they get up it is time to go to bed again. They hardly have time to prepare breakfast. They fry the eggs and sausages and bacon. Cook the beans and prepare the toast. Get a nice pot of coffee ready and then jump back into bed. This is because in their country the days are very short.
They don't have 24 hours clocks like us. Their clocks are only for one hour. The rest of the clock face is dark because it is night for about 23 hours or so. They also have luminous sundials so they can tell the time at night.
Also, I read somewhere, that they like to do saunas. That is sitting naked, men and women, in wooden cabins with a hot fire burning. It is their way of airing their differences.
Did you also know that if you're in a vacuum and you shout loud no one would hear you? And it would make no difference whether the vacuum bag is full of dirt and dust or whether it was empty?
And if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to see it, it remains upright!
Do you realise that if you had a small bird in a cage and as you happen to weigh the cage if the bird jumped up from its perch then its weight would not register on the scale? Also, if you were to weigh the cage under water the small bird would drown?
Reading books and things made me feel important; like Einstein and Penicillin. They didn’t get to where they are by just kicking a ball in the park, you know. I bet they spent many an hour in the library reading books and doing their homework instead of watching TV.
Did you know that according to Einstein nothing can go faster than light? That's why you see the lightning first and then hear the sound of thunder. Unless you're indoors of course. In which case Einstein does not work.
Also, according to another scientist called Grouch Marx outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
That's why I called my next book Fido and my dog Page Turner.