Why Do You Read?

Shaun Tan is a featured ambassador for Australia's National Year of Reading and participated in an interview for their site.  Here's a taste:
Shaun Tan as a boy

  • Do you remember learning to read?Yes, it was some book about a grasshopper and the word ‘jump’ was the first clearly recognisable thing. My Mum also had a ‘new word of the day’ as we were growing up, often a bit funny or obscure, which was a really fun idea. I still remember that a Xebec is a three-masted vessel from Algiers. Never managed to use that one in a conversation yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
  • What's the first book you can remember reading or having read to you?The first I remember was something about a rhinoceros, an animal I’d never seen before. I remember the book having a very particular smell (something you don’t get with ebooks unfortunately). But the most memorable was George Orwell’s ‘Animal farm’, which our Mum more or less read to my brother and I by accident (it’s not really a children’s book). She actually found it a bit shocking, but my brother and I just thought it was really cool.
The real treat, though, is the comics postulating answers to the question "why do you read?" that are included with the interview.  Pop over and have a look here.



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