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Don’t judge a book by its cover … but by its reader

It is easy for a reader to deliver a damning verdict on a book. Whether it is a debut novel or the masterpiece of a genius, the dismissal can be…

Please, Don’t Tell Me Reading is a Waste of Time

Conversation at polite dinner parties is constrained by an implicit set of rules. No talking religion, no talking politics and no talking sex. In the future, I might have to…

A Tale of Two Bookshops

To me, it seemed like the worst of times. A big, bright, multinational bookstore had opened up directly across the road from my favourite independent bookseller. Book lovers were miffed.…

Is it worth reading ‘difficult’ books?

There are two types of people in the world: one who loves a challenge, and one who likes nothing less. I’ve always thought that I was in the latter category,…

The Lure of Shared Sadness

Sadness is something we shun. We shrink from the grieving as if their condition was contagious, and we implore the depressed to ‘cheer up’. In fear of the spectre of…

Children’s books have no age limit

They used to speak of their passion in hushed tones. After all, they thought, what fully-grown adult would freely admit to their love of young adult literature? More recently, the…

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