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Ilaria Tagliafierro, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19

November 15th, 2018 | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Ilaria Tagliafierro, MLitt in Publishing Studies 2018/19
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I didn’t always love reading. The first childhood memories I have about picking up a book are of passionate hatred.

My grandmother used to always gift me books instead of toys, in hopes that I would understand the importance of reading a good book for personal pleasure. I vividly remember my mother forcing me to read a chapter a day of a book I wasn’t enjoying at allĀ as a summer holidays homework. Back then I didn’t think it was possible to suddenly love something you had hated for such a long time. But I adored the first two Harry Potter movies and somehow I ended up badly wanting to read a copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that my mother had bought me. That book was the beginning of something new. I started it and devoured it. I kept bringing it everywhere just to reread a scene or two.

If you’ve watched iCarly, you’ll remember the episode in which Sam has to read a book for a bet, and she actually decides to have someone read it to her because she hates reading. However she starts reading the book herself because the reader is late and then suddenly realizes that books are great. I particularly love this quote from that episode 22 of season 1: “So I started reading it myself and it is fantastic! These things are great! It’s like TV in your head!”. Sam’s experience really speaks to me.

So, my journey with books was a long one but it actually got me to where I am right now. As I reflect upon it, it’s kind of shocking to me that a single book completely changed my mind and my entire future.

I read a fair amount through middle school and my first years in high school, but it’s only in the last five to six years that I’ve been obsessed with reading. I’ve never liked reading books from my home country, with a few exceptions, so I have almost always read English translated works. When I finally became fluent enough to read books in their original language I couldn’t believe how many books existed that I could have loved, and I had missed, that my country wouldn’t publish just because there wasn’t an adaptation for them. My online researches lead me first to Goodreads and later to Booktube, and those two permanently reshaped my interest and pleasure in reading books.

In the meantime, during this latest phase, I was studying languages and publishing as my undergraduate degree. I’ve always loved studying foreign languages, especially English, so that choice was a safe bet, however I still wasn’t sure about what publishing was and if my future career should have been in that area. My undergraduate degree showed me that the publishing route was the right path to follow. Unfortunately, it also made me realize that Italian education is too dry and far rooted in theory and that my degree wouldn’t be enough to pursue a career in publishing. Nowadays the publishing industry requires more practical and updated skills, and my university had taught me mainly the history of books and printing. That’s where the University of Stirling comes into play.

Amazed by the publishing industry in the US and in the UK thanks to my online activities and my choices in reading, I was looking for a degree in one of the two countries that would enhance my publishing knowledge by teaching me practical and updated skills that I would actually need in a working environment, and I think I’ve finally found it.

Many people still ask me why I decided to risk everything to come to Stirling, and while I very much enjoy speaking my favourite language, meeting new amazing people and visiting a dreamy Scotland, my answer will always be the same: I came to Stirling because the MLitt Publishing Studies program was perfect for me and my ambition.