News and views How I got hooked on books By Geraldine Grandidier, founder and CEO of Tidy Books, a corporate supporter of Beanstalk. I can still remember my first experience of being read to as a child. It was at school, when I was five or six, and the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Instantly, I was hooked. To me, the idea that you could be transported somewhere different, where weird and wonderful things happened, was just extraordinary. At the time my family was living in the New Hebrides – now known as Vanuata – and when they moved to France when I was eight I tried, unsuccessfully, to find the book. It wasn’t until I came to England at 23 that I was finally reunited with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It felt like me�eting an old friend again. As a child, discovering books was like finding a portal to another dimension. I was amazed – and still am – that with a book you can travel the world, meet a whole host of people and characters and can travel backward or forwards in time. It’s just the most wonderful thing. I’m such a book lover that I even named my son, Emile, after my favourite writer Emile Zola, while my daughter Adele was given the same name as the daughter of author Victor Hugo. I get so much joy from books that I want to share that joy, especially with children who are struggling with reading. That’s why my company, Tidy Books has an ongoing commitment to Beanstalk. What Beanstalk’s volunteers do is so simple, yet magical - reading one-to-one to help children discover their love of reading, and changing lives. We donate a percentage of our profits with every sale made on our website, to help Beanstalk get more kids reading. Tidy Books is a small British business making children’s bookcases and storage products, which are designed to foster children’s independence, including independent reading. I believe in doing business responsibly; we use sustainable wood and eco-friendly water lacquer which is better for the people who make Tidy Books, and we’re proud to be long term supporters of Beanstalk. Books are just the most amazing, imaginative, exciting, thought-provoking things. When you read you get to learn so much, be transported all over the world and experience incredible adventures. Books truly are magical. And if children are encouraged to read from an early age, like me they’ll probably be hooked for life! Beanstalk is delighted to be working with Tidy Books, if you'd to speak to us about becoming a corporate supporter then please get in touch!