When I was about 11-12, I was given this silly little book with strange cartoon characters splashed over the cover. It looked a bit geeky and I was reading something else so I put in the back of my bookshelf and forgot about it.
It must have been months later when I came across it again and, having nothing else to read, opened it up. I think it may have been the first book I read cover to cover without stopping much for paltry things like conversation, physical movements not directly related to comfort, doors, food, heck, even TV!!
When I surfaced, my mom asked me with a smile "Was your book good?" to which I replied the entire contents of said book simultaneously accomplishing 2 things: she never asked me that questions again and she started bring me to the book-shop more often (she says now it was to encourage me to read more but I secretly suspect it was just to stop me talking about the contents of those books.)
I have read every single item I could get my hands on by that author, he still remains my nostalgic favourite to this day. I can pin onto him my love of books, specifically his chosen genre, to this day. My daughters are reading him now too, starting with me introducing some of his more colourful characters during bed-time stories to picking up his books themselves and devouring them much as I did almost 30 years ago. I can't empty my library onto their bookshelves fast enough! I can only hope that, in introducing my children to the wonderful and
fantastic world I discovered as a child, they will also come to love reading and cultivating their imagination as I have.
While not an avid follower of the private lives of authors I read, it was hard not to note the solemn announcement some years ago of a degenerative illness this man was diagnosed with. Rather than hang up his pen, he persevered with his writing and lecturing until very recently and retained his intelligence and dignity in the face of dimentia.
I find myself deeply saddened by the passing of a man that I never met but that greatly touched my childhood and introduced me to interests I cultivate to this day. I'd like to thank him in my little way, in my little corner of the world for the fantastic world he opened up for me and my children.
Thank you, Mr Terry Pratchett, for giving me Mort and for everything that came next.