Thursday, 5 March 2009

World Book Day of Decision

So, today's world book day. What does this mean? There'll be a few articles about favourite books, some banners appearing in the library (if you still have a local library), a swash of writers appearing in schools to promote reading and writing, some bright discounts in bookshops, but probably nothing in Thorntons. Don't get me wrong. I think anything that raises the profile of reading is a Good Thing. But I guess I'm wondering if it does. The Guardian raised the issue of lying about books today, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It reminded me of the theory of reading by osmosis. You know, keep buying books, even though you have a tower to read, in the hope that somehow their contents will seep into your knowledge banks whether or not you read them.

So what could we individually do for WBD? Something that doesn't have to be big, public and involve lots of logos. It's perhaps no coincidence thatthe day falls in lent. Why not make a personal commitment to ourselves? Not to give up something, but to actually start reading that book we've always said we would read, or even said we have read ... Mine would be Derek Walcott's Collected. I'm off to Amazon ...

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