Happy Birthday to The Reading Agency

The excellent organisation The Reading Agency  is 10 years old. The Reading Agency is a wonderful charity whose aim is to inspire more people to read more. They work particularly closely with libraries which give equal access to books and reading. They celebrated their 10th birthday at the British Library last week and Jeanette Winterson gave the inaugural Reading Agency Lecture. It was characteristically trenchant, wise and rousing–she quoted Andrew Carnegie “who believed in books and the chances they offered” and who “wanted libraries to be the universities anyone could attend and no-one would ever have to leave.” She also said:  “Books as objects matter. Ebooks are not an improvement; they are an addition” and that “for kids in particular ebooks aren’t the answer….Early reading is physicality–the taste, smell, weight of books.” We should all pay attention to this, and then go back to Give a Book.

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