“They want to hear about blowing up bridges and how to handle a gun. But the most important action of all, I tell them, is opening that first book whatever it might be.”

The Mirror
16 February 2013

The best-selling author learnt to read as a 16-year-old Army recruit and says it was life changing

Of all Andy McNab’s hard-fought victories the thrill of reading a book was the first big one.

The SAS hero and best-selling author, 53, was an Army recruit aged 16 and had just finished a Janet and John tale in a forces literacy class.

He recalled: “When I put it down my instructor said, ‘Congratulations. Remember this feeling – what it was like to finish your first book.’ And I always have.

“That moment truly changed my life. Everything I did since came from then.

A book can take you to places you would never have known. Each book you read gives you a little more knowledge.

And knowledge means power. And power means you can make decisions for yourself and go your own way.

That’s how you survive. Which is something I know a lot about.

I finished school with the reading skills of a kid aged 11. I was illiterate. I was going nowhere. If that sounds shocking, well I’ll tell you something that’s even worse.

Today the average literacy age of a young man joining the infantry is still just 11. Things have not improved one jot.”

Now Andy, whose first book Bravo Two Zero sold millions and was turned into a film with Sean Bean playing his part, is a frontline fighter in a campaign to spread the reading habit.

And the Sunday People is a proud ally. We are offering FREE copies of his latest book Today Everything Changes.

For the full article with interview go to The Mirror