So, World Book Night has been and gone and lots of people bought books for other people and lots of people were given books and some people even competed with each other to see how many books they could collect for free.
Everyone had a great time, and why shouldn’t they? Books are enjoyable. Books make you feel better. Books can make you think, they can educate you, they can take you to faraway places and let you escape for a space.
So why don’t we buy more?
"Oh, because they are expensive."
Wrong. Buying a £4 Mills & Boon book is no more expensive than buying a £4 pair of stockings. Buying an £8 mass market paperback is no more expensive than buying an £8 pair of earrings. Buying a £19 hardback is no more expensive than buying a £19 bottle of nice wine.
So if it isn’t cost, what is it? Could it be because a book is visible evidence forever that you have spent money ENJOYING YOURSELF?
Think about it. Tights get ladders and holes and are thrown away. Earrings are small and easily hidden in the secret earring stash (everyone has a secret earring stash, right?). Wine is even better - it gets flushed through the alimentary system within 24 hrs and the bottle consigned to the recycling bin.
But a book is there forever. Proof that you have spent money on yourself. Proof that you have enjoyed yourself for a whole two, three, four hours. Proof that you have sat down and read instead of ironing or gardening or dusting or any of the other chores that we spend our lives avoiding.
Is that it? Well, there’s an easy solution - borrow a book from the library. You can return the evidence as soon as you’ve read it. Or treat a book as a throwaway: put it in the recycling bin along with your daily paper.
But maybe, just maybe, we should nail our colours to the mast. Stand up straight and tall and announce to the world that
WE LOVE READING!There really isn’t anything wrong with it, you know.