Saturday, 4 January 2014

Are you reading enough ?

In an article in 'The Guardian' newspaper, Mister Phillip Hensher argues that something should be done to keep literature at the heart of national life. He uses the example of the belated republishing of my biographies in the United Kingdom as one example of how this may be achieved.

He goes on to suggest that a government recommendation that it is good for you to read 15 books a year might also help.

I used to be a great reader, but since taking my degree I must admit I have read very little. The burden of leadership has been too great, leaving me little time to indulge in the pleasures of fiction. I do find time, however, for the occasional factual discourse on the subjects of economics and good governance.

Also, I still order at least a thousand books every year, for my library, and there is always a vast pile there waiting to be put on shelves.

The building consists of a stupendous hall which goes all round the bases of four big towers that are set about a lake. It's really four rooms in one, and the rooms are so big that if you want to go from one of them to the one opposite it's easier to row across than to walk around. Good boats have been provided for this. Although the lake comes right up to just below the windows, the hall is perfectly dry. It has books going up so high that you can't possibly see where the top rows are, but luckily there's a patent step-ladder with a chair at the back. One simply presses a button and the chair soars right up to the ceiling, so that you can easily reach the topmost books.

Free boating and reading holidays to the library are offered to all the inhabitants of my towers.

This has two successful outcomes  - it ensures that all the citizens of Homeward are as well read as possible, and all the rowing improves their fitness !

The Library is a popular destination for winter holidays. The lake freezes over and is perfect for a spot of ice skating. Then, after this physical exertion, guests can curl up by one of the nine immense gas fires that surround the library. What could be better on a cold winter evening?

This is my own little contribution to celebrating the power of reading and the value of literature.

If Messrs Cameron or Gove wish to contact me for further advice I am more than happy to oblige.

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