“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.”
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.