Friday 19 September 2014

Back to school

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At last the children are back to school. The summer holidays can be great to start with especially when you have a trip abroad to look forward to as we did with out week in Tunisia; but by the end of the six and a half week break things were getting a bit tense in the family. The rain had returned and the sky was grey, and after spending so much time outside on holiday everyone soon gets bored when you are stuck inside.

This is when the local library is a great asset and we are lucky to have one not far from where we live. It runs various events during the holidays for children and we got ours involved in the Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge. They loved it and returned with hand fulls of books which kept their minds active, and more importantly our sanity intact. It's a shame when local authorities take the easy route to saving money in these chaste times by shutting down libraries. I know we now have use of the Internet, but it just isn't the same as a visit to building full of books, and the wonder there is to be found. The little ones love playing games on the Internet and also watching shows and sites on it, but they just don't interact with a machine as much as you do when you spend time looking through selves of books and comics.

As a writer you would expect me to want every child to have access to a book be it one you hold in your hands or one you can read on a computer or Kindle, but it goes deeper than that. It's the experience, the anticipation, the challenge, the wonder, the enjoyment and the feeling of sharing a community asset that makes such a visit so special. For children the local library is the first stepping stone to regular reading and ultimately leads to an adult using a Kindle or Nook to read. This leads them to paying for the pleasure and thus makes lots of money for companies like Amazon.

So on a business note I would think it would be in the interest of all the big publishing houses and book sellers to make sure local library's aren't closed down, and if this means they invest just a very small teeny bit of their profit towards helping to keep them alive then I think it's a long term investment worth making for them.



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