What happens next? Pupil Nat Gilson writes about his love of reading for World Book Day 2018

I’ve loved reading ever since a very young age. There’s a question I think we’ve all asked at one point or another - what happens next? Once you’ve started reading a good book, or sometimes even a not-so-good book, it becomes very difficult to put it down. I wanted to read as much as possible because I always wanted to answer that question.

Now that I’ve been getting into writing, I find it’s always a good sign when somebody wants to know what happens next in something I’ve written. Stories, in a sense, are a lottery - you have an idea of what’s going to happen in your mind, and you keep reading (or watching, or playing) to find out if it’s what you expected. If it isn’t, it might be something even better that you could even have imagined. There’s a little burst of excitement before the outcome is revealed that keeps you coming back for more.

It’s not the only reason I love reading, given that I’ve re-read my favourite books many times. The best books have an incredible world, and I always want to return to them. Whether that world is the vast network of planets of Philip Reeve’s Railhead or the isolated groups scattered across a dark reimagining of Britain in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, reality is always less interesting. Fictional stories always ask the question “what if?” and that question can make you think far beyond the contents of the book. Stories can make you realise something about the real world that you didn’t consider before.

Books are a very powerful medium. From how they influence our interests from childhood, to how they can spread ideas across the world, aiding revolutions and supporting ideologies. Words are the only art form that can be anything you want.

Nat Gilson, L6