I have just read an inspiring post about the power of reading, over at This Space blog. Dave Lull sent me the link (thank you, Dave), but I would have got there eventually myself as I have recently added this blog to my blogroll, and hence Bloglines subscriptions.
If you want to know why public libraries are a good thing, please read Steve’s (This Space) post. Here is a part of it:
"This is why I am so bitter about people who blithely refer to "elitist"literature and tell us that we should all read trash because that’s really what we want to read isn’t it and to deny otherwise is pretentious. Rather than appealing to democratic accessibility, this smacks of the elitism it claims to resist. It was my good fortune that Portsmouth library chiefs stocked books by writers these inverted snobs refuse to read, discuss and learn from for fear of opening minds and actually changing anything. But it wasn’t only my good fortune."
How true. If you haven’t been there before, I also recommend a visit to Tim Coates’ Good Library Blog. It is depressing reading — a kind of catalogue of cutbacks — but Tim is vigorously campaigning on behalf of books and readers in the UK in the face of a depressing mountain of smug red tape and jobsworths. Well done to him. (He will be the next Prime Minister, incidentally — or should be.)