This week our local council announced the launch of plans for a new library complex in our town in the heart of the town centre. Broadly I approve of the proposals although I would like to see the library located on the ground floor instead of the first – in my opinion first floor libraries never really work for which I cite the Oxford Central Library in the Westgate Centre as evidence.

I guess though they decide to put them in out of the way locations or on the first floors because libraries do not make any money whilst shops and restaurants do. For the record I do passionately believe in the importance of libraries, but I am also fully aware that I am in part responsible for their decline.

When I was little the library was an integral part of the weekly Saturday trip to town – and was some week’s even the primary objective – and I loved it. I can’t now really remember the last ime I really used a library. Why is this? When I love them so much? Partly it’s because I love books. I love reading them, and I love owning them. It’s also because hisorically I tend to be quite a slow reader. Back then, before the days of online renewals you borrowed your books and you had to return it after x weeks or remember to renew it, and I had never finished it, and…

These are not good excuses, but coupled with my love of owning books I have enjoyed, it is a reason. It has also formed a pattern of life and routine that has been hard to shift. This year though, with my inceased bus use has resulted in increased reading – expidentially – and so I’m today thinking whether I should perhaps dig out my library card and taking myself off down there and seeing what my local library has to offer.