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17 January 2007

Library legacy - Reading Changed This Guy's Life

Thanks to the lit-zine of the U.K., 'Spike', for the link.

Thanks 'Spike' for pointing CPE to this convincing post on the importance of reading (by Stephen Mitchelmore) - VIZ the importance of getting a new start as a motivated reader and patron of local libraries. That can be an education in and of itself but can also motivate a guy (or woman) to go on to university, get an interesting job and meet like-minded friends. Thanks . .
Before I started to read, I was unemployed, qualification-less, going nowhere, not likely to go anywhere, except Fratton Park. Then, I started using Gosport library, the one now under a pseudonym.

The Reader's Journal

This was inspired by the great Miners' Strike of 1984-85, during which deep disillusionment was bred in me (the ridiculous Falklands War two years earlier, something much closer to home, had had a preparatory effect I think). I read Michael Crick's book Scargill and the Miners. Then I read a few more, including some novels (notably Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the discovery of which I've written about before). But then in March 1987 I crossed the Rubicon (or Portsmouth Harbour as it's known) to discover the three floors of Portsmouth Central Library. Before long I had a job and was taking a couple of courses. These led to university and, eventually, an MA, a better job, a slightly brighter outlook, Spike Magazine, this blog and the great friends it and a new life has brought me.

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