Posted by: paultovell | September 24, 2009

“And that telephone’s a waste of space…”

This week I’ve been looking at The Reading Agency’s work on a creative reading charter:
www.readingagency.org.uk/new-thinking/creative-reading-charter/
In their own words, “We hope to set a new agenda for reading’s place in the cultural landscape, and libraries’ role in promoting it.” And it’s vital work – quite often in local authorities, funding depends on libraries being able to justify their role in this cultural landscape. I think they could do with hurrying it up a little though – so far they don’t seem to have progressed much beyond commissioning some thoughts about reading from some well-known figureheads. But although this outsourcing sounds a trifle trivial, those thoughts are great – my particular favourite is from author Kate Mosse, who argues in favour of technology with the rather wonderful point that reading won’t be destroyed by e-books any more than conversation was by the telephone. I just have this fantastic image of the shiny, brand new telephone arriving in the homes of the nation and someone looking at it blankly and asking the salesman, “but what if we’ve nothing to say to each other?”

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