Can you imagine a world without books? I can't. I love reading. Books educate us, inspire us, take us to faraway places, entertain us, scare us and feed our imaginations.
I don't have an e-reader although I do have a kindle, downloaded onto my laptop that I never use.
I can't think of anything worse than coming home from eight hours in front of a computer screen and reading a book on screen. And I certainly don't want to take any kind of screen to bed with me.
I know people who have e-readers and they love them. I'm certainly not against them, anything that encourages people to read gets a big thumbs-up from me.
But they just don't appeal to me. There's nothing better than the anticipation of turning that first page. First though I scan the cover, read the blurb on the back, think about the author, then turn that page and start reading. Ooooooooh
However, for authors it's getting harder and harder to get their work published.
In Hawke's Bay we have several very talented authors including Anna MacKenzie, Adele Broadbent, Mary-anne Scott, Joy Watson, Charity Norman, Jackie Rutherford and Deborah Burnside (I know there are others so please don't be offended if I haven't named you).
So it was really nice to hear a wonderful success story concerning one of our very own authors. Deborah Burnside's new children's book Rebecca and the Queen of Nations sold out. Wow. You don't hear that very often.
The chapter book is aimed at 7-12 year olds and is an historical fiction book specifically for girls. What was even more special about the launch of this book is that it was a fundraiser for Sailability.
The organisation enables the disabled to go sailing. A little like Riding for the Disabled, Sailability is run and organised by volunteers.
This book is also special as it's the first in a series of New Zealand historical fiction for young readers.
Deborah told me that Penguin Australia had released a series of historical fiction books for young readers and it had been a huge success.
"Penguin New Zealand approached me and asked me to write the first one for New Zealand children. I was very excited," she said.
Deborah used a true story about her husband's grandmother, who got on a horse in England, rode to the port and boarded the first boat she could find. That was actually the Queen of Nations and the voyage brought her to New Zealand.
In Deborah's book her character Rebecca sets out to find her brother after her mother dies. She takes a horse and ends up sailing off on the Queen of Nations.
Deborah said her book was heavily reliant on fact and she feels very chuffed with it.
I haven't had a chance to read the book yet as Deborah had to commandeer all the books set aside for reviewers to take to the book launch.
I'm looking forward to getting a copy and will tell readers more about it when I do.
I love reviewing books from our talented Bay authors and also from New Zealand authors. We have some amazing writers among us.
They say that everyone has a book in them. And at one time or another many of us think "Mmm I could write a book about this or that". But we never do.
Authors must be dedicated, passionate, selfless with their time, relentless, determined and hard skinned to take all the rejection that usually comes before success.
So next time you are thinking about buying a book, ask the retailer what they have in store that is local. Then ask what's in store that is by a New Zealand author. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised.
FOOTNOTE: Watch out for the health page in the next few weeks where another talented Bay author makes her debut. Susan Kitson's In Search of Health, 21 steps to Glowing Health is full of simple advice to help readers improve their health.
Linda Hall is assistant editor at Hawke's Bay Today.