Friday, 29 June 2018

What is missing in this library?

My love of reading and, eventually, writing was fuelled by my weekly visits to the public lending library. I chose my three books on Saturday morning and by Saturday afternoon I would have read the first book. Each child was allowed three library tickets but I discovered a subterfuge by which I acquired nine and the librarians did not see the reason to question my allocation. Perhaps they were being complaisant for the sake of education.

Public libraries are a goldmine which should be explored by all: children and adults alike. To be able to pick a book from a shelf, sit down and read it at leisure should be one of this frantic world's most treasured activities. To have one's imagination triggered by the words of another is mentally stimulating and intellectually satisfying – you don't have to peer at a flickering screen or push buttons or stick things in your ears. You just sit there quietly and live in the world of your imagination. And it is BOOKS that provide the material.

I recently gave a talk at Wheathampstead in the Memorial Hall next to the library. A placard on the wall declared, 'come and join us, it's free'.

By the door, this notice enticed you with what the library was offering you.

Do you notice something missing from the list?


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