With re­porter

Jo-Anne Rowney

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - PEOPLEANDPLACES -

NEIL Gaiman has said to lose them would be like ‘si­lenc­ing the voices of the past [and] dam­ag­ing the fu­ture’ while Zadie Smith has said they are ‘ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial.’

Of course am talk­ing about li­braries. The lit­tle book havens have made head­lines yet again last week when we re­vealed a sad but true statis­tic last week show­ing num­bers are down.

Peo­ple just aren’t vis­it­ing li­braries like they used too.

You can cite all kinds of rea­sons – my favourite be­ing it’s thanks to the in­creas­ing cof­fee cul­ture, ie we pre­fer to sip our Star­bucks with free wifi than pop in to bor­row a book.

Or what about pa­per­back is out, ebooks are in?

What­ever the rea­son that is flavour of the month, would be among those sad­dened if we lost our li­braries.

have fond mem­o­ries of sum­mer read­ing chal­lenges, bur­row­ing my head in Bly­ton tales and loos­ing my­self in the world of Anne of Green Gables in or­der to earn lit­tle badges.

There is some­thing ro­man­tic about a li­brary, yes, ro­man­tic.

It was Isaac Asi­mov that said “It just a li­brary.”

It’s what­ever you want it to be; a space­ship to take you off to the farhest reaches of the galaxy, a time ma­chine to fling you back into the past, “a friend to amuse you and con­sole you – and most of all – a gate­way, to a bet­ter and hap­pier and more use­ful life.”

De­spite us all know­ing this, we are just as guilty as one another. We lament the loss of our li­braries, but do we use them?

think the last time dark­ened mine’s doors was to check a book out for my mum. I have a Kin­dle.

The lat­est stats though have prompted me to change that.

Yes I can find any book want on my Kin­dle, but the feel­ing of find­ing some dusty tome tucked into a shelf just wait­ing to bed read, can never be beaten by click­ing down­load on Ama­zon.

had almost for­got­ten the sat­is­fy­ing feel­ing of turn­ing the last page of a book, or read­ing aloud to a child en­rap­tured with the tale you are shar­ing with them.

The li­braries are the place to share this magic, so visit yours be­fore it’s too late.


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