HE HAS always had a passion for reading – and his love for the written word has seen Reverend Sean Blackman raise money for a school.
The 54-year-old read 30 books in 30 days – around two million words – and donated £100 to Brockhurst Junior School, in Gosport, after completing the challenge.
The books ranged from philosophical text books to classic novels such as Wind in the Willows and The Great Gatsby.
To achieve the feat, Sean had to have more than one book at a time on the go.
He said: ‘I have always loved reading and wanted to challenge myself.
‘I thought reading 30 books in 30 days would be challenging enough and it was then I decided to help out a school too.
‘I have a passion for libraries and I think it is important that schools can encourage its pupils to read.’
Sean, who is a reverend at the Freedom church based at the Nimrod Centre, in Rowner, was always confident he could complete the challenge.
‘My aim was to read one book a day,’ he said.
‘Some books took longer to read than others so sometimes I was reading more than one book at a time.
‘I wanted to have a good range, so there were novels but also religious books, books on psychology and biographies.’
Steve Patrick, the deputy headteacher at Brockhurst Junior School off Avery Lane, said he was appreciative of the money donated by Sean.
He said it would help children with learning difficulties improve their reading.
‘When Sean first came in and told me about the challenge, my chin hit the floor,’ he said.
‘I couldn’t quite get how generous he was being and that, of all the schools in Gosport, he chose to help us.
‘We’ve started working with the Hampshire Library Service to improve and modernise our library and reading is something we like to encourage.
‘The money will be used to help the pupils in the school who find it difficult to read.’
Pupils at Brockhurst School were happy with the donation and said they were looking forward to having more books in the library.
Michael McLoughlin, 11, said: ‘It is really good we have the money because books are important to help you learn.’
Fern Carvey, nine, added: ‘It will be good to have more books because we can learn about lots more topics.’
The books he read...
n Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
n You Do Know by Becky Walsh
n Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger
n Scroogenomics by Joe Waldfogel
n The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work by Andrew Mawson
n The Man In The High Castle by Philip K Dick
n A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled by Ruby Wax
n Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
n Waterhouse on Newspaper Style by Keith Waterhouse
n How To Read A Book by Mortimer J Adler and Charles Ban Doren
n The Story Of My Life by Helen Keller
n Step By Step Stand-up Comedy by Greg Dean
n Overcoming Low Self-Esteem by Melanie Fennell
n Six Action Shoes by Edward de Bono
n Sleeping With Bread: Holding What Gives You Life by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn
n Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
n Systematic Theology by Anthony C Thiselton
n The Gospel Of The Kingdom by J E Ladd
n Developing The Leader Within You by John Maxwell
n The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
n Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
n The Fear of Freedom by Erich Fromm
n Two Second Lean by Paul Akers
n Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
n The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
n Fathers And Sons by Ivan Turgenev
n The Art Of Learning: A Journey In The Pursuit Of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin.
n One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
n Families And How to Survive Them by Robert Skynner and John Cleese
n Reach For The Sky: The Story of Douglas Bader by Paul Brickhill