LAURA CARTLEDGE: Rediscovering my love of reading has made me hungry for more

I’VE CAUGHT the bug and I’m not talking about the half-colds that seem to be prevalent at this time of year.

Where you get the sniffles just enough to warrant a tissue up your sleeve, but it doesn’t turn into anything proper or go away.

I have that, too.

But I much prefer the other bug – the reading bug.

It and I had been on a break, you see.

We’d been ‘going steady’ for the majority of my life.

Like the caterpillar, which in my day was just ‘hungry’ and today would probably have an eating discover, I had always devoured any written word which came near.

And I mean ‘any’ – the back of packets, actual instructions for things.

Everything but ‘terms and conditions’, but who actually reads them? You just tick the box... right?

But, having studied literature at uni, the spark had faded.

I think it was that common tale – we’d just seen too much of each other.

Instead it became just a holiday fling thing. A paperback for plane journeys. Nothing serious.

Then, when my partner took to the streets of Chichester for the recent 10k race, something changed.

I was tasked with the very important look-after-his-stuff role.

Which mostly involves sitting on a bench with a backpack, timing it to be at the finishing line on time, then driving him home.

With 49 and a bit minutes in between.

So I took the first Hunger Games and loved it so much I’ve now finished the trilogy.

No it’s not Blake, or Keats, or Shakespeare, but it is brilliantly compelling and a real page-turner.

I don’t think we should be snobby about what we read – reading is the important part.

It made me a bit sad as I realised what I’d been missing, but happy to discover it all over again.