Friday, 3 December 2010

Can I borrow a book?

I wasn't a great reader as a child and it wasn't until I was 11 or 12 that I 'discovered' books. Until that point, I enjoyed my escape into the world of the Moomins but otherwise it was the dreaded class reader in school.

And then one day a friend 'had to go to the library.'
"Boring," I thought but I decided to go along with him anyway.
I watched him searching through the books for something to read. I looked at the ceiling. I watched other people choosing books. Some old blokes were warming their toes in the reference reading room, looking at the newspapers. Boring.

The same thing happened the next week. And the week after that. And then...

One Saturday, as I stood there, I reached out and... picked... a... book... off... the... shelf...

I never looked back.

The library was Eastham library on the Wirral. Last year it was earmarked for closure. The people of Wirral and a whole load of other people saved it.

Not much to look at but I reckon if it weren't for this humble building, its contents and staff, I wouldn't be a writer now.

Next year 250 libraries are set to close.

Don't let them close your library down.