This month, writer Neil Gaiman has chosen a book for us. His novels, short fiction, comic books and graphic novels have earned him cult and critical acclaim, and he has been a vocal supporter of the need for libraries and independent bookshops.
I like books that change, over time. The Wind in the Willows, when I read it first, as a boy, was just the basis for the funny Toad of Toad Hall play I had seen, with Moley and Ratty and Badger and Toad versus the Weasels and Ferrets and Stoats. When I read it in my teens and twenties it was an exploration of nature, a bygone England, and of the idea of home. These days, reading it to my children, it’s a meditation on loss and on friendship: the loss of environment, the loss of home, with Pan, the Piper at the Gates of Dawn, there at the heart of it all.
Earlier this year, a struggling bookshop in Petersfield was the happy recipient of a business boom after Neil Gaiman shared their plight on Twitter. He and Chris Riddell – two champions of reading for pleasure, also penned this wonderful essay in pictures on why we need libraries.
Thank you to Neil Gaiman for sharing this book choice with us, and for inspiring the joy of reading in so many!