A plea for libraries. And, yes, for me.
You love to read; I doubt you’d be here otherwise. Quite possibly public libraries were the backbone of your childhood and adolescence. A place that introduced you to a range of authors. Somewhere you could choose books and take them home for a few weeks without having to pay a penny. Older, they’re useful for reference, and still for hours of entertainment in what you choose.
Libraries, be they municipal, Carnegie, community hubs, whatever, are an invaluable part of our society. That’s true wherever you live, no matter which town, city, whatever country. We need libraries. Yet everywhere, their budgets are cut, branches have had to close. It’s not the fault of local government. Their budgets are squeezed and they need to focus on the most vital service. I understand that.
But libraries offer a vital service, too. The open up worlds. As books become more expensive, they’re harder for many on limited incomes to afford. The libraries offer them galaxies for the imagination.
Support your libraries, please. If they’re not used, then in time they will close. Future generations needs them. We need them right now.
That is heartfelt. I’ve benefitted from libraries all my life. I discovered a number of favourite writers through them that I might never have found otherwise.
And that leads into the second part, which is less altruistic. I have a new book coming out at the end of December called The Blood Covenant. I really, completely believe in it. Its springboard is the exploitation and abuse of children in the factory system of the 1820s. That was a commonplace. The difference is that two children die from it.
I want people to know that happened, and I like fighting back against those who made it possible. I’d like people to read this book.
Of course, I’d love it if you all bought copies. However, hardbacks cost money. You could request that your library buys a copy – my publisher, Severn House, is what’s known as a library publisher, after all; that’s their prime market. Borrow it from them instead.
If they put one on the shelves, it’s not only you who can read it, but any others who decide to borrow it (actually, through the Public Lending Right, authors make a few pennies every time one of their books is borrowed, which is great). It’s out there, it’s available. The days when libraries could order everything have gone, but if you ask, there’s a much better chance they’ll spend their money. You’re doing a public service.
Yes, you’re helping me, and I would truly appreciate that. I know I’m being self. But you’ll be using the libraries and that helps to keep them open. That way, we’re all winners.
Thank you. Please do request the book for your local library. And others that you want to read.