The Duchess of Cornwall last week begged non-book lovers to begin a new chapter in their lives and start reading.

The Duchess, who says she has fond memories of her father reading to her as a child, was speaking on World Book Day. Her Royal Highness met children and authors as she delivered a speech in London where the Southbank Centre was holding “The Biggest Book Show on Earth”.

The event was live-streamed to more than 350,000 children in schools, bookshops and libraries throughout the world.

“I know there will be some who are less keen on reading than others,” she said. "They may be more interested in sport or listening to music. There’ll be others who are good at maths or science and may say they don’t have time to read.

“I beg you to find time. No matter what your talents and interests, I promise you reading is a wonderful pleasure that I know will never leave you.”

The Duchess, joined at the event by Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and a host of top writers, added: "I believe passionately in encouraging a love of reading in young people of all ages.

“Because reading is exciting. Reading is fun. Reading is cool. There is nothing quite like the thrill of opening a book and being drawn into another world to meet new people and to discover their stories – it’s like making new friends.”

The Duchess told the audience the power of a gripping story and intriguing characters was “immense” and books helped explain the human condition, why people act the way they do.

Now its 150th year, World Book Day is celebrated in more than 100 countries.


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