Byline: KAREN PRICE Arts & Media Correspondent
JUST a few years ago learning to read was a chore for many children.
The text was regarded as uninspiring and there were not enough colourful illustrations.
But these days bookshelves are packed with literature which makes reading fun.
In fact, thanks to authors like Harry Potter creator J K Rowling reading is now considered to be cool.
Throughout this week, children's books will be put under the spotlight during the seventh annual Wordplay at the Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea.
The festival of literature and arts for young people is hailed the biggest of its kind - and it is still expanding.
This year there will be more than 100 events, including talks from authors, parties featuring favourite literature characters and story-telling sessions.
Among the authors and illustrators visiting the festival are Jackie Morris, Nick Butterworth and Carol Drinkwater.
Every day there will be special events aimed at different age groups.
Today's events include sessions for nine to 11-year-olds hosted by Denis Bond, author of No 1 and The Avenue, who will be exploring the phrases used to create stories.
Chris D'Lacey will be telling a group of nine to 12-year-olds how his last novel, Fly Cherokee Fly, came to be written.
There will be a session for eight to 10-year-olds by Welsh-language writer Helen Emanuel Davies.
Vivian French returns to the festival once again this year as writer in residence and she will be helping the young visitors to put pen to paper.
But it is not just the children who benefit from the Wordplay festival, for there will be a number of special evening events for adults. …