… libraries. Especially public libraries. There is only so much room in our house and any way, it is possible to get pleasure from something without having to own it. In fact, thinking about it, my possessions are really on a kind of long-term loan: I won’t be taking them with me.

One of the awkward things about public libraries is that someone else choses the books and they may not always be to my taste. One of the good things about libraries is that someone else chooses the books and I may discover a surprise or two that I come to enjoy. While I’m on the subject of gratitude for libraries, thank you to the many and various librarians who have helped me navigate the catalogue, suggested lines of enquiry and generally aided my studies as well as my leisure reading over the years. If we close too many libraries we run the risk of losing those professional guides and guardians. The internet has blessed us with more information and books and articles than we could fit into a single library: the forest has grown immensely and we need wise guides to help us distinguish the wood from the trees.

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