ONE of Beaconsfield’s best-loved sons, Sir Terry Pratchett, took a step back into his childhood this afternoon when he gave a talk for around 60 fans at Beaconsfield Library.
The former library Saturday boy and Bucks Free Press reporter spoke about his life and works, praising the influence the library had on his hugely successful career.
And to show his appreciation of the many hours spent browsing the bookshelves as a child, Sir Terry donated the entire £10 per-ticket proceeds to the library.
The Discworld author said he owed a great deal of his massive success to the time spent in Beaconsfield Library.
And the 65-year-old, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, added he preferred going to read copies of Punch Magazine than to school, where he said he learned nothing more than to “spit and fight”.
Sir Terry, who has sold over 85 million books worldwide, contacted staff of his own accord to arrange the event.
Senior Library Assitant Carolyn Ing said: “It has been absolutely fantastic to have Sir Terry here. We could have sold the tickets two times over, there were so many people wanting to see him.
“We are so grateful he donated the money, it is a major thing for the library and will help a great deal.
"He got in touch and said he would love to visit and it just went from there. It wasn’t to promote a particular book, so perhaps he just felt it was the right time.
“It’s also a good opportunity to raise awareness of the library and to show people where we are and what we do.”
She added the visit should help boost the ‘Creepy House’ summer reading challenge currently underway at the library.
The themed scheme encourages children to read as much as possible over the summer holidays, and last year over 500 youngsters took part.
Excited fans had the chance to ask questions to the legendary author, who also posed afterwards for photographs.
Beaconsfield-based children’s writer and illustrator Zena Scharf said: “It was lovely to hear him speak. His sense of humour is wonderful and made the whole thing so special.
"He made everyone laugh and it was great to see the library so busy as it’s like a second home to me.
"The fact he donated the money to the library is like manna from heaven and means they can buy more books which is so important."
Staff and children from Holtspur School were in the audience, and have arranged for Sir Terry to sign a book for them.
The author attended Holtspur Middle School as a child before studying at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe.
He began working as a reporter for the Bucks Free Press in 1965 after being unconvinced a career as a fiction writer would make him a living.
Sir Terrym who was knighted in 2009 and now lives in Wiltshire, has since won the Carnegie Medal in Literature and was the biggest-selling British author of the 1990s.