This morning I drove Perran first to the junior school which he and Pascoe and Carenza used to attend and he hefted two large cardboard boxes into the foyer. Next we travelled to his newly ex-secondary school and took another cardboard box into the library there.
We have now given away a large number of childhood books to good homes – through school libraries and book sales, they will reach children who want to read them. Hopefully they will allow the librarians to devote more of their budget to specific text books.
By contrast, a boxful of vintage children’s puffins from the 1970s remains at home in the hall. My childhood didn’t buzz with social activities, outings and new toys, so these books, read and re-read formed the framework of my inner world. How can I throw them out, each cover illustration so evocative? Worst of all, with their yellowing pages, their dated tiny print, probably nobody would want to read them now and even a charity shop would trash them.
Much better to do as Perran, Pascoe and Carenza have done and pass them on while they are still in good condition, attractive to other young readers and a benefit to their old schools.
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