For the love of books!

Our office 'bookworm' Derick Cursino, shares his story of his love for books and how it improved his English studies.

By Derick Cursino - Published on 6th March 2020

On the 5th of March the “World Book Day” took place and it made me think of how much I love to read and – most of all – how much it has helped throughout my English Studies.

I was brought up in a house where there were books everywhere, since I was very little my mother – a language teacher – encouraged me to read and be curious. Curiosity drives us places, she used to tell me – needless to say that I’ve became a massive bookworm!

When I first moved to Newcastle, as a student, I set a goal to myself: read as many books and visit as many bookshops as I could. This wasn’t just out of curiosity and leisure – I knew that the more I read, the more my English would improve.

The first bookshop I went to was Waterstones, situated very near to International House Newcastle. I remember feeling overwhelmed with so many different options and instantly set another goal: read one book each week. Every Monday I would go to Waterstones, buy a new book, as spend some of my PSP time reading it – the fact that you are reading something that is of your interest serve as a very good conversation topic for you and your teacher during PSP.

For those of you who know International House, you’ll know that every week our Social Programme team takes us to a different place in the North East of England, and I remember vividly when I went to Alnwick – not only because of the famous and beautiful Alnwick Castle, where they filmed Harry Potter – but because of Barter Books.

Barter is a second-hand bookshop that gives bookworms everything they want: a wide selection of books and comfy chairs where you can sit, read and enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate! I remember spending a very long time there, browsing through all the different aisles and selecting the books I wanted to take home with me. All of my teachers told me how much they like Barter as well, is a very popular place in the North-East.

Later on I discovered another North-East gem called: Forum Books, located in Corbridge, a little town 30 minutes train ride from Newcastle. Forum holds a small but much diversified selection of books, ranging from old titles to the newest ones – and the best part is that there is a micro pub right in front of the bookshop! Nothing like a pint after indulging yourself to some good novels.

I’ve fulfilled my goal to read a book each week and visit as many bookshops as I could and it helped me a lot to develop and deepen my grammar and vocabulary. You can do it too, even if you are not as passionate about books as I am!

There are loads of other bookshops that I’ve been to and would like to talk about but for me, these were the best ones! Happy World Book Day from Newcastle!!  

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice.