Hooked on books

Postman Nick Wood on how the written word has kept his children’s imaginations alive during lockdown

Ahead of World Book Day tomorrow, 4 March, we caught up with father-of-three and Westray postman, Nick Wood, who explains how books have provided a break from everyday life and the opportunity to travel anywhere.

‘For me, books have provided a wonderful form of escapism and entertainment without being stuck in front of a screen,’ he said. ‘It has also been lovely sharing books from my youth with my children.

‘Workwise, I've been busier than ever since the start of the pandemic. Reading a book has provided a break from the worry of Covid-19. Reading as a family is a really lovely way of spending time together.’

Nick appreciates the skill in which books capture different insights and why characters behave in situations in the way they do, more so than film and television. He lists We Didn’t Mean to go to the Sea by Arthur Ransome as a perfect example – where children are plunged into an adventure and how all their strengths come together to meet the challenges of being washed away into the North Sea. 

And who is his favourite British author?

‘That’s really hard to answer, but I would say Robert Westall who wrote in so many styles,’ said Nick. ‘I read his stuff as a teenager, but re-reading them as an adult gives a different kind of perspective. Before Covid-19, we were planning on going on holiday to Northumberland, but that had to be cancelled. We read one of his books set along the Northumberland coast – The Kingdom by the Sea (Nick pictured reading it with his son). Hopefully we’ll get there soon and see some of the places in the book!’

The bookworm gene doesn’t stop at Nick. His son Elijah also imagines himself in the stories.

‘If I had to write a book, I think I would want to write a long adventure story, maybe a bit like The Hobbit!’ he said.  

Visit myroyalmail.com tomorrow for more about World Book Day and how we’re throwing our support behind the initiative.

3 Mar 2021