People read for different reasons, but a good tip for students wanting to develop their reading skills may be to cultivate an interest in textbooks. This week, British author Francis Spufford was in Hong Kong at the invitation of the British Council to share his thoughts about reading. The 38-year-old author of The Child that Books Built: A Memoir of Childhood and Reading read his first novel when he was just seven years old. 'Reading affected my imagination,' he said during a visit to St Clare's Girls' School on Monday. Books made readers aware of words and language, and allowed them to see those as a tool, he added. Spufford said books such as Diana Wynne Jones' The Lives of Christopher Chant opened readers up to a whole new world of magic that might even surpass the charms of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter series of books. Asked how students can develop an interest in non-fiction books, Spufford said: 'Bring imagination and excitement into reading textbooks, like we do with stories. Textbooks, like any other books, are knowledge to the world. 'Like all the pleasures that are deeply rooted in human nature, reading comes in many flavours. It isn't only sweet. It's bitter too, sometimes,' he told Young Post. To develop a habit of reading, Spufford said it was not necessary to start with something interesting. 'If you don't read them [textbooks], how do you know you are not going to like them?' he asked. 'Maybe we can take a small gamble on reading. Read with a free spirit. We can find things we like,' he said. If you want to know more about Spufford's books, read English Corner on Page 4.