Burnley teacher begins new chapter to spread his passion for reading with launch of online book shop
Lockdown prevented so many people from doing what they love. But for Nick Waldron it gave him the time to indulge his passion for reading.
A Maths teacher at Burnley College he used the extra time on his hands to devour the numerous books on his list of 'must reads.' And as he worked his way through them Nick began to think about the people who may not have the same access to books as he does.
Burnley born and bred Nick, who is the son of former Claret Colin Waldron, was surrounded by books growing up and his favourite authors were Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl. He knows first hand how books can take you to another world and also help to develop a child's imagination and thinking aswell as improving their education.
Nick said: "We always had a well stocked bookshelf in the house and reading was a big part of my childhood and it is a huge part of my life now."
It was that period of reflection in lockdown that gave 47-year-old Nick the impetus to take action and The Untidy Bookshelf was born.
An independent online bookshop centred around the love of reading itself, along with offering hundreds of popular titles new and old, the site also acts as a platform for Nick's work in the local community.
His first community fundraising initiative raised over £1,000 which was put towards buying books for four schools, two in Burnley and two in Hyndburn. Nick raffled off 20 books he had sourced, all signed by the authors.
This is just the start for Nick, who lives in Ightenhill with his wife Caroline and daughters Freya (21) and 14-year-old Heidi.
Nick describes The Untidy Bookshelf as a hobby and an independent platform aimed at inspiring positive change and to share the joy of reading, an 'online bookshop made by book lovers, for book lovers.'
And Nick's passion is clear to see.
He said: "Here at The Untidy Bookshelf we believe that the joy of reading belongs to everyone. Irrespective of our ethnicity, social class, demographic or gender, we are all united by our passion for the inherent wonder that only books can provide. "
Recent research has shown that fewer than half of children and young people read outside their class, and standards of literacy in England are behind many other countries. And as budget cuts threaten the resources of school libraries Nick hopes he can help.
The more books The Untidy Bookshelf sells the more Nick can help schools to re stock their libraries through #books4schools project.
Nick said: "Reading can bring so much pleasure and it helps children to learn and improve their literacy skills.
"That's what the Untidy Bookshelf is about. It's not about making huge amounts of money, it's a way to get books to children and anyone who wants to read but may not have the money or access to books."
One of Nick's all time favourite books is the epic best selling novel Shogun by the late author James Clavell and also the 2020 Booker Prize winning novel Shuggie Bain.
The debut novel of Scottish American writer Douglas Stuart tells the story of Shuggie the youngest of three children growing up with his alcoholic mother in the 1980s, in a post-industrial working-class Glasgow.
And the first person who subscribes to the Untidy Bookshelf newsletter www.theuntidybookshelf.co.uk/subscribe within the next seven days will win a paperback book of their choice from the site
To make a donation to the books for schools arm of The Untidy Bookshelf please click HERE