Reading Heroes: Natasha Busby
During Book Week Scotland, we asked people to nominate those in their lives who showed a special dedication to books and reading. Nominations poured in from all over the country, and from those we chose three Reading Heroes: A Most Committed Reader, Most Inspiring Reader, and Most Inspiring Teen Reader. But all of the nominees were so interesting, we set out to learn more about them. First up is 13-year-old Natasha Busby from Airdrie, a regular at her local library who loves Harry Potter and regularly visits youth groups to encourage other young people to embrace books. Here, she tells us more about her love of the written word and makes a few confessions.
Who nominated you?
My friend, James Fagan.
Have you always been a reader?
I suppose I have been. My parents tell me I was when I was tiny but I don't remember much. I know, though, that I would always read ahead in books at Primary School when we were allowed to take them home!
Tell us a bit about what you like to read.
I like to read fantasy, but not older fantasy, more of a modern kind! For example, I absolutely love the Harry Potter series; however, if it came to a book like The Hobbit, I don't think I would be able to finish it. I can't really say anything bad about it, though, as I've never read it!
I also like romance in a novel but only if it has a proper plot, or at least conflict, it can't just be romance. I like horror too!
Why is reading important to you?
Reading is my life. I was bullied a lot in primary school and I used to hide in the girls’ bathrooms with a book. Books became my refuge, my freedom, because reading was something nobody could take away from me. Reading was a whole different world, an entirely new place to explore. I love it so much.
Do you judge books by their covers?
That is probably one of the biggest things for me that I can't get out of! Yes, I judge books by their covers. Mostly, it's just titles that I 'judge' though. I like it when books have nice titles. It makes me love them even more. I feel terrible now! Poor books.
Have you ever cried in public because of a book?
Yes, in school! We were all doing a maths test once, and when I finished first, the teacher told me to take out a book. Anyway, it was a book about this girl on the Titanic who'd fallen in love with the steward. He died. I was devastated, especially when she'd named her child after him. I cried into its worded pages. Weirdly, no one asked why my face was smashed against a book...
What’s your opinion on reading in the bath?
I've read in the bath a few times, though I have to say that I drop them in sometimes, so some of my books have crinkly pages! Reading in the bath is awesome!
Where do you stand on spine-breaking?
I think it just shows how much a book is loved when the spine is broken. It shows that the book has been read. I have one friend who's a reader like me but she completely opposes to it. When I borrow any of her books, I barely open the pages so I don't break the spine as she'd kill me! (I love you, Mel! Please don't eat me.)
Which author or fictional character would you most like to go to a party with?
I would go to a party with Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. That would make my entire life. I love his quirky humour and fast, witty answers. He's just so perfect!
How do you arrange your bookshelf?
I literally spent two days arranging my bookshelf. It's this big, tall one that has about five shelves. The top shelf is my old books from when my Gran was younger (from the 40s and 50s). The second shelf is a collection of books from the Daily Record. The third shelf is all my favourite books, alphabetically by author's surname, and then the fourth shelf is my Harry Potter books and memorabilia. The fifth shelf is my large books, atlases, Annuals, Broons and Oor Wullie.
What’s the most over-rated book of all time?
Twilight, I think, by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight is definitely over -rated. It's one of those books that you either love or hate.
Is there one particular book that you continually recommend to people?
Yes, I am always recommending The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Wow. That book is absolutely fantastic. It's about a girl with cancer who meets a boy who had cancer and they fall in love. When you get to the end you will cry so hard, no matter who you are. You'd have to be totally hard-hearted to just close the book and never think about it again. Also, John Green's style of writing is amazing. It's quirky and intelligent, so funny. You'll laugh through your tears. I guarantee you'll learn at least ten new words with this book. It's fantastic. It’s my favourite stand-on-its-own book ever.