Books Are For Everyone | Save Our Libraries

Here in the UK, there has been a lot of talk of libraries closing all over the country. The party line is because they aren’t used much anymore, but I call bullshit on that one.

When I was little, my favourite part of the week was Saturday morning. Every Saturday, my mother would walk me down to the town library and let me pick as many books as I could carry. I was not unlike to Roald Dahl’s Matilda. I couldn’t get enough of what those wonderful words had to teach me.

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As a writer, I am clearly biased when it comes to books. I have spent my life in awe of, crying at, laughing with, and sometimes even screaming at the pages of, books. Books are not just pieces of paper covered in the ink symbols we call the written word, but they are the door to limitless possibilities. 

Books can take a shy, introverted child and turn them into a communicative member of society. They teach us something at every stage of our lives: how to read, how to do sums, how to split the atom, how to love, even. Should that knowledge – that soulful education only a good book can give – not be free to all? 

There was a time that only those who could pay for literature were the only ones who got to cherish its pages, its knowledge. But libraries changed all of that. They gave everyone the opportunity to learn from, and enjoy books. Are we reverting to the prior? Are we about to steal all that information from the grasps of a child whose parents can’t afford books?

Around 15 per cent, or 5.1 million adults in England, can be described as ‘functionally illiterate.’ – LiteracyTrust.Org 

Do we really want those figures to get any higher? I sure as hell don’t. We are the homeland of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, JK Rowling, Charles Dickens, Stephen Fry and hundreds of incredibly influential authors. Who knows how many more beautiful words could be written and read with the help of public libraries.

Protect Library Services by signing this petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/228742 

Why It’s So Much Easier NOT To Write – And Why We Should Anyway!

I can’t be the only author that has struggled to start that next project, to fill that once blank page with an amazing formula of words designed to move and wow our imaginary reader.

No? Good.

Writing is a difficult trade, we are constantly remind by society, by friends and family – and by ourselves – that it is “a waste of time”, “it will never earn any money”, or that “books are silly” by the neanderthals among us… *we all know one….*

We face the constant pressure as writers to amaze and prove wrong the people around us. They expect the next J.K Rowling to emerge suddenly out of your office, and not just you.

Image source: cursivecontent.com

Image source: cursivecontent.com

Writers are often grouped together, admittedly often by other writers, in this assumption that we all want to be rich and famous from our work, or that we’re all geeks. Well some of that’s true, but it depends on the individual author.

Personally, I just want to earn a living doing something I enjoy. I want that home office with my comfy slippers, a mug of tea in one hand and my favourite pen in the other. I don’t need to be Stephen King famous – although that would be nice. I just want to be recognized for my work, the same as everyone else.

Even in a society where reading is coming back to the forefront of our social activities, it is still seen as weird to want to spend your time running through castles, fighting dragons, saving the damsel and challenging the dark knight to a duel. So we need to start fighting society as well as dragons and start proving why we need creative authors in the world.

Writers, poets, artists, performers – any kind of creative – play an essential part of our lives as human beings. They move and inspire people all over the world with the stories they create and help share. They distract people for hours on end and they can make them re-think their whole lives by the end of Chapter 5.

Image source: allisonldoyle.com

Image source: allisonldoyle.com

We’ve all had that haunting moment when you put down a book or switch off a film, and your heart is aching. You have been changed as a person because of that story. You feel empowered – and rightly so. Stories are a gift from one person to another saying, “here, have this – I made this story just for you. I hope it helps you.”

That’s why we can’t stop. We can’t stop writing because people don’t like it, because it’s hard, because it’s easier to do something else. We need to keep going because one day, somewhere out there, your words are going to help someone. And what’s better than helping someone?