Keep on reading!

Despite our slightly limited opening hours at present due to the COVID-19 pandemic please be assured that both the Preparatory and Senior School Library staff continue to do our utmost to support our readers (including those who are super keen, reluctant and everything in between!).

This can be as simple as engaging a student in a discussion about what they have been reading over the past few weeks or letting them know when a favourite author has a new book hitting our shelves. I always particularly relish those moments when students bail me up and want to tell me the entire plot and character analysis of their latest read in great detail. It reminds me of myself as a child!

Although we are no longer in lockdown with regards to school attendance and things are now reopening, life is far from ‘normal’ in many ways. That is why it is esasential that we continue to encourage our students to read, perhaps now more than ever.

We’ve all seen the things that have been deemed essential over the past few months; toilet paper, pasta and tinned tomatoes spring to mind, but top of my list (unsurprisingly) are books! I started stockpiling early. All those books that I have been meaning to read, the classic re-reads, ‘ambitious reads’ (i.e. big, fat books) and even some new genres (hello, fantasy!) that I have been saving for a pandemic day.

Fortunately, life for us is slowly returning to pre-COVID conditions but the good thing about books is that they do not go ‘off’, and they have no real use by date, apart from the return to the library dates of course!

So, let it be said - books are essential! They provide food for thought. At a time when our thoughts are running wild, escaping into other experiences, or trying to understand what’s happening through the lens of historical accounts, books are a kind of lifesaver.

As Ray Bradbury put it in Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian novel about a society that burned and banned literature, “Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

Some may argue that the Information Superhighway (what the Internet used to be called before most of us had even got in the car!) keeps us all connected way more than books do, especially in these days of physical distancing. This may be true, but to me that is a pleasant addition to the menu; an amazing side dish; a terrific dessert; a trendy instagrammable starter, but not the main course. Books are my meat and 2 veg, or if you prefer, a tofu poke bowl. In other words, the substantial meal of the day for your brain and your wellbeing!

Michelle Pritchard
Director of Library Services

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14 May 2020 - 8:39 AM
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