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 Adults Need To Start Reading Kids Books Again

I wasn’t really allowed to read or own books as a child, so I discovered many kid-loved classics in my teens and twenties when I went to university.

Children’s books teach us so many things, and as someone who believes that there is always a lesson to be learned, I think adults need to start putting down the crime thriller and the erotica and start picking up those bedtime stories again.

I’m not saying never pick up a +15 novel again, but sometimes we are so wrapped up in work, bills, cars, problems that we don’t take any time to be a kid again; to be creative.

The one huge difference I have noticed between children’s fiction and adult fiction, is that children’s books are so much more creative!

They invite the reader to imagine some extraordinary things, like in Harry Potter where we are thrown into a world of magic and muggles combined. We are asked to believe that magic exists in our everyday lives… and I am so okay with that.

harry potter books curtosy of Flickr

Children’s literature has been shaping the minds of kids for years, whether it’s Beatrix Potter teaching us that we all need to have a little adventure in our lives, or Roald Dahl showing kids that adults don’t always know what they’re doing.

Peter-rabbit taken from Commons.Wikipedia

Learning lessons isn’t just for younger readers, and I’ve found that books written for the post-high-school world don’t teach us enough! The only thing I have ever learned from a crime or a thriller is that people have too much access to weapons, and that we can be cruel – but I think we all knew that…

So next time you think about picking up that dark cover with the girl’s silhouette on the front, maybe go for something with a little colour, a little fun and definitely some imagination!