Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Books... Oops! Politics!

There is now a free book 'shop' in High Barnet, where you can donate books and also take up to three without paying. It has erratic opening hours and it's at the corner of The Spires on the High Street. I took these today and will probably return the Le Carre when I've finished with it and keep the others. We took our old computer there to be recycled: they are putting the adage 'waste not, want not', to practical purpose; and it's a treasure trove! Lost in Music by Giles Smith is hilarious and made me laugh out loud when I read it, so I gave my original copy away to make someone else laugh out loud. I am glad I saw this, as I feel like laughing again. Meanwhile, the Friern Barnet library needs your support. It has been closed by horrible Barnet Council and re-opened by a conglomerate of squatters who are not yer usual run-of-the-mill squatters (if such people exist). They are re-stocking the library and I plan to take my duplicate academic books down there soon; they are also doing lots of stuff for kids. The basis for all this is that libraries are places where children can go to read and do their homework in peace, retired people can congregate in the warm and read the newspapers, and everyone is free to browse, use computers and generally become an informed community, if not a learned one.
Having written huge parts of my phD/book in the local library because of its peaceful atmosphere, and knowing that both the Offsprogs went there to do their homework with their pals, I can safely say that I have been a library user for many years. If you would sign the petition, that would be a big vote of confidence in the need for public libraries in the UK (and everywhere, for that matter)
I have also been plundering the charity shops for books. I reckon £100 spent on 50 books from charity shops is worth much more than £100-odd spent on a Kindle. I'm not just being a Luddite, although I do love paper (whether scruffy cacky second hand book paper or brand new smooth shiny paperback paper scented with ink). The books go back and are re-sold, making money for the charity many times over.
Where does this leave bookshops?  Still great, still useful and yes, I buy new books too and really enjoy the environment of browsing in newness, often with coffee and always with an informed assistant to talk to about the books.
Long live reading in all its many forms.

Shouts also to the UK Feminista march today and Helen Pankhurst, with their lobby of Parliament.
I was hoping to go but simply have too much preparation to do for the lectures I'm doing this week. You go, girls!


Thomas Maltby said...

A poem dedicated to Jan Palach by Thomas Maltby and Edward Silver

Love burst from its cage in early 1969 when Jan palach burnt himself to death
Symbolising the agony of those who perished in the ovens or those same men
Who might still today have been drinking coffee in Warsaw or London ;
Yes among those men were those who might felt those flames in Prague
Drinking coffee in Warsaw or London were those
Who might be Believing that Jan palach did not die in vain

Hi Helen this is a poem U might like Best Regards

Helen McCookerybook said...

Thanks Tom, I do like it. Helen

Thomas Maltby said...

A poem dedicated to Blair Peach by Tom Maltby and Ed Silver
A shout of thunder bulletless
Crunchproof ;Usually funny
To the valleys of the cold;
"You shouldn't steal wine nigger,now you grass"
Hidden Nick,brand new cop

Another one Best Regards