I remember the first book I ever read which did not contain pictures. It was “The Dog Caruso And His Master” by R M Ballantyne and I got it from my primary school library. I do not remember taking it home but read it in breaks from class. Then I visited public libraries and I read avidly.
For a young boy with little pocket money growing up in the austere 1950s the public library was a godsend. I visited regularly at first with my parents and then on my own. I remember cycling to Downend Library near my home village of Mangotsfield near Bristol in the sixties. I spent many a happy hour there. There is nothing like searching the shelves for hidden treasures.
Public libraries have been hit badly by the current long recession. Some have been forced to close through lack of funding so when I visited my Mother, who now lives in Downend, I called into the library to relive old times. I was relieved to see that it was as busy as ever and I happily donated a copy of the first Peatmore Press book, “Cogrill’s Mill,” so it could sit happily on those cherished shelves.
Peatmore Press has also donated copies of its books to Woking Library, as it is based just outside the town, and for the time being all author public lending rights have been waved. In these tough times is important that writers and publishers support these valuable institutions which for centuries were crucial for the preservation of the written word.