Reading and Recession!
The National Year of Reading was launched by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Education Secretary, Ed Balls, in January in order to help build a greater national passion for reading among children, families and adult learners alike. Reading is a great leisure activity and highly affordable for everyone, especially when we need to tighten our economic belts. In fact it needn't cost a penny in the UK because we have a wonderful network of libraries.
Personally I am very grateful to the library service because if it hadn't been for my small local library in Portsmouth, as a child I would never have discovered the pleasure of reading and writing, coming as I do from a non-book household. When people ask me which writers inspired me the wonderful Enid Blyton opened up a whole new world for me - a world of adventure and mysteries. I, like many others, devoured her Secret Seven and Famous Five mysteries before moving on to another great mystery writer, Malcolm Saville. Just seeing the jacket covers of his books on the Malcolm Saville Society web site brings me out in a rash of nostalgia.
So if you can't afford to go out to the cinema, or the increased mortgage payments mean spending nights in, maybe it's time to curl up with a good book. Is that why Gordon Brown launched the National Year of Reading? Or could the economic gloom and doom be a cunning ploy designed to get us all buying, loaning, borrowing and reading books? I'm all for that!