A literary love letter – Dan Cox

Today’s guest blog post is from Dan Cox. A start up comedian, actual musician and full time tea drinker, he is 24 years old and has been reading books and drinking tea for a large quantity of them, in his spare time he plays in a band, reads, writes, drinks tea and goes to the cinema as long as he can have a tea afterwards.Dan Cox

It came as a shock to me I tell you as it must have done to you which I guess is why you’re on this site and why you’re reading this. The proposed closure of Libraries and Mobile Libraries is a shocking and bizarre way to recoup for that duck house that at the time seemed so necessary.

But I’m not here to gripe about the closure, even though it gets right on my flabby pecs to no end. No in this I thought I would talk about my local library and what it did for me and people I know and hopefully hopefully someone somewhere will see the point that’s trying to be made.

I started going to the Library when I was oh so young because of my parents love of books. I remember constantly asking my Dad questions regarding life, the universe, meanings of words or simply my homework and he would turn to me and not willing to give up the information that he’s hoarded all these years would point me in the direction of a dictionary, encyclopedia or reference book and inform me that the answers I sought could be found in their pages, at the time it really annoyed me, now however I am thankful, this taught me that information was out there to be found and looked for, you have to bear in mind that this was just before computers really took off and a good few years before I knew what an ‘internet’ was for.

So that’s my Fathers contribution the matriarch’s story is different, with my Mum after school didn’t necessarily mean home, drink of squash and CBBC, no after school meant shopping had to be done, or swimming club or going to watch her ride horses (truth) and every so often…..THE LIBRARY! Oh the library, we would get there, and we I mean myself, Mother and two siblings and Mum would escort us to the other end of the library to the children’s section to sit us down in seats that to this day I have never seen anywhere else, maybe it’s a library thing who knows? So seated in the childrens section we could read, draw or do homework, well it was an easy choice for me, I couldn’t draw (still can’t) and I hated homework (still do) so reading was the thing for me and thats where it all started.

Right there in those bizarre seats in Alton, Hampshire Library it looked like a large bomb shelter and it wasn’t very big, but it did the job, as a child weird seats, hungry caterpillars and Roald Dahl. At the age of about ten it was all about reading series of books for me almost collecting them in your head when you’d read there were Goosebumps at the thought of a new Goosebumps horror book, Paul Jennings with his curious tales of people my age who did and had strange things happen to them, and the Redwall series. All of these titles I still recommend as I made it to my early teens I noticed that as you got older you moved through the library, you started at the back and moved further towards the help desk situated at the opposite end as your reading level got higher, it was in my early teens that I discovered a corner of the library with some books that looked like childrens books but weren’t for children it was here that I discovered Batman, Spiderman, The Green Lantern and Judge Dredd all captured in pages so full of colour, yes I’m on about comics and that’s where I shall leave it because I could do a whole other article.

After that I was into my teens and then adulthood and books by the likes of like Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams and P.G Wodehouse have helped me get there.

These days my tastes haven’t changed that much, I still like many of the authors I have mentioned I still read a Roald Dahl every so often and books by Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen Fry, Sebastian Faulks, Cormac McCarthy and Nick Hornby have further cemented my passion for reading. And Ok with Kindles and e-readers it is hard, but can anything and I mean anything substitute the smell, look and feel of opening a new book by your favourite author? No I didn’t think so, and what’s more important is they are available in your local Library.

Guest bloggers are not affiliated with VftL, and all views and opinions are their own.

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