Today’s photograph is a self-portrait with Rosie Garland’s book The Palace of Curiosities on a bright cooler blustery day in Tunstall and taken just after midday. Some of you may have read my interview with her a few blogs back , if not then I urge you to, since then she has been nominated for Desmond Elliott Prize for first novels.
I had just picked the book up from Tunstall Library, having ordered it the other day. Luckily we still have a library service even though many branches have closed and the books on display have been cut drastically, I normally have to order books I want from the stacks or like this from new. The history section in Tunstall now seems only to have books on Hitler and memoirs from soldiers in special units (I know, The Report is based around the Nazi’s but it is more than war porn).
You may think that as an old friend of Rosie I should have gone out and bought the book, certainly if I had been still working then I would have, but I am now in the bottom 1-2% and in poverty (in cash terms). However, ordering books for libraries is equally as important as buying them. Authors get paid rights, but more than that a greater number of people may read a book than otherwise would. I regularly order new books and hopefully add to the Library’s collection.
I know that when I go into Tunstall Library the first thing I see are two stands of new books, I always look and very often find books I would never have looked for on the main shelves, for instance that is the way I found Orkney by Amy Sackville and The Devil’s Footprints by John Burnside, each wonderful writers who I now want to read everything they have written and will write in the future.
New books keep the libraries alive. The most depressing thing we hear is when the local authorities state that a library or wherever was closed because no-one used them, it is an excuse to cut what in the UK is our most important and precious arts facility.
I like buying books, but except for second hand bargains do not have the funds to do so. For me and millions of others a library is a vital resource. So please, if you are a member of a library go and order Rosie’s book or any book that friends have written or you think can add to the artistic life of your community! Eventually one by myself…
Also today I put a couple of pages of Working up on Wattpad.
I would advise that the language is strong, nasty and the ‘imagery’ quite disturbing, but it is not gratuitous, what I am writing about is taken from conversations and observation, to write otherwise would make the scenes unreal. I would love to have some feedback and will add more.