Today is World Book Day here in Blighty. One of the main aims of the event is to disconnect today’s cyber-mad yoof from their gadgets and gizmos and save them from irreparable damage to their imagination (i.e. anything beyond the visual). Pissing in the wind? I hope not. I’m an irrepressible optimist. So, my friends, support the cause by popping out to a bookshop and picking up the real deal in paper and card to have and to hold from this day forward. A bit short of the readies? No problem, join your local library. It costs nothing. Libraries can be exciting and surprising places these days. Gone are the days of stuffy shelves, dusty benches and bespectacled bookworms whose only words were “shush!” The best of the bunch are multi-media extravaganzas that stimulate all of the senses, none more so than Norwich’s Millennium Library at the Forum. For the sixth year running, this hi-viz high tech vortex of culture and learning has been named the most popular library in the realm, with over 1.3 million visitors passing through the doors each year. I knew it was quality the moment I found my own literary witterings in their catalogue. Naturally, I had to borrow the book to make sure. I won’t keep it for long. I know what happens in the end.
If Norwich is too far to trot, you’ll also find Perking the Pansies in the British Library, The National Library of Scotland, The City of Sydney Library, The Liverpool City Library (that’s Liverpool in New South Wales), The Stonnington Library, South Yarra, Australia and The Wellington Public Library in New Zealand.
Not bad for a debut book by a nobody who is neither a reality TV star nor a celebrity cook. I’m gobsmacked, as they say in the tabloids.
Today is also my old girl’s birthday. She’s 84. Happy birthday, Mum!