The founding principal of Queen Mary’s College has published a new book inspired by his love of reading.

Eric Macfarlane OBE, who was at the helm of QMC for 18 years and has devoted his career to educating children “against the odds”.

Eric describes ‘The Pleasure of Reading’ as an auto-biography that talks about how his love of books has impacted his life and how his life has impacted his reading interests.

The self-confessed “reader writing for other readers” told the Gazette: “The first thing a teacher should be doing is encouraging children to be reading the bokos they are interested in.

“One of the problems with our courses in English is that they switch children off from reading.

“It makes kids not want to look at books outside of education,” he continued.

The book, which Eric says was written with the aim of being a Christmas present, looks at how people get the reading bug.

Eric also takes a look at the motivations of novelists, as well as the subjects that they choose to write about and the kind of stories they tell.

“I believe that children are born with a natural curiosity about the world,” Eric said.

“Nearly every single child is interested in stories and then as they acquire the reading skills, they are interested in reading.

“During secondary school, they lose the habit, partly because of adolescence but partly because of the terrible pressure we put them under with exams and stress.”

The author has penned several books, including ‘The Making of a Maverick’ and ‘Who Cares About Education?’.

His love of writing and reading hasn’t faded, saying: “I’m 88 and still going strong!”