Andre Norton dies, aged 93

When I was in my final year of primary school (aged around 11), I applied for a bursary (a kind of small scholarship). A teacher asked me about my reading habits and suggested that, for the purposes of winning the bursary, I was partaking of the wrong end of the library. That library had fiction at one end, non-fiction at the other. I was always at the latter end.

Duly directed, I scanned the books at the fiction end. The teacher had wanted me to read the appropriate fiction classics. Instead I looked for interesting novels. The two authors who I first came upon, and whose novels inspired in me a life-long love of reading, were Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton.

The former died in 1988. Now Norton has herself just passed away.

I failed to win the bursary. But having since read some of those classics, I’m glad I didn’t read them at that time. I may have gained the bursary, but may also have failed to learn to love reading. Thank you Andre Norton.

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