I am an author. I don’t know how to drive a car. I have no interest in watching or playing any sport. I’m not very good with my hands and my beard prevents me from operating heavy machinery, even when sober or not on medication. I neither like dancing nor loud music. I have never watched The X-Factor, Pop Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly Ballroom or anything with music by or featuring Andrew Lloyd Webber. But I love books. I love reading books. I love discussing books. I love writing books. I love the feel of them. I love the smell of them. But, most importantly, I love where they take me when I read them.
I am very fortunate to have grown up in a house full of books, where both my mother and father read avidly, and we went to the local library. For less well-off families, school and the library are sometimes the only real source of books, but what a source. A well-stocked library with a good librarian is a gateway to EVERYTHING. Of course, not every child takes to reading but it offers possibilities. Options. Choices. Should anyone have the right to snatch those possibilities away? To pull the rug out from under a child’s feet before s/he’s even had the chance?
And do you know what? I started this intending it to be a funny piece, with the punchline that libraries are so important because they sometime employ unemployable people such as myself as highly unqualified library assistants (or, at least, they did back in the 1980s) … but, instead, it’s turned into this impassioned plea.
LIBRARIES MATTER. HELPING TO STOP LIBRARY CLOSURES MATTERS. As for Mr Spock with a goatee beard? That has something to do with ANTIMATTER, but there’s no room for that here. We all have to act NOW before it’s too late, so what are you waiting for?
[I also posted this blog entry on my Facebook page and the response has been fantastsic.]