Wednesday, 3 June 2015

A lovely view - books! And why books mean freedom.

Here's an image of a corner of my library that took my fancy yesterday.

I love electronic gadgets as tools for writing, communication, and business and the odd bit of reading the the Kindle but seriously nothing beats a good book.

I'm a serial bibliophile. I think it comes from the very few books I had as a kid - and then the insatiable curiosity that overwhelmed my mind in my later teen years. I started to 'get' things - first, maths logic (which is why I love teaching the basic fundamental logic of maths - it's relatively painless and it teaches us to work through problems, and life is full of problems to solve, regardless whether we start off with an x or a y!!).

Then I got into the political philosophy of nuclear deterrence, arguing with pacifists why giving up the bomb might not be a bright idea in the middle of the Cold War; then I discovered economics - and my academic passion that took me through to the MA level before transitioning over to a PhD in philosophy (I'd been asking awkward questions in the MA that 'weren't on the syllabus': you don't get replies like that in philosophy departments.) Along the way, I began devouring books - and still do. One of the sad points of my life was leaving a good collection in Canada when I migrated back to the UK, but I think I've caught up since!

Books worked their magic on me and still do. Barely a week goes by without a new purchase - I've found some very cheap sources not just on the web and it's a real pleasure skimming bookshelves to see what may be discovered!

Apparently, I've passed the love of books onto my boys: my younger said, "I love books!" the other day. Warms the cockles of the heart.

In a future dystopia I wrote a decade back, called Vestiges of Freedom, books are banned and slowly but surely, the evil EUnion is deleting the electronic copies that it holds in the national library. The written word and therefore the text are vital elements of freedom - to be able to write a message or read a text has been vital through the centuries against the forces of totalitarianism.

It should reminds one of Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) or George Orwell's 1984. Vestiges has elements of both - and Clockwork Orange with its funky language - but is also great fun. Teenagers put twists on EU language directives and our hero Robin Bradbury hides a secret library - it's fast paced and set in the area I live in: Melton Mowbray and the Vale of Belvoir. Up north though, things are not so good, or so it seems.

I didn't mean this to be an advert but I'm really proud of the book and have had great reviews. It's available in paperback/hardback using my nom-de-plume William Venator at the time but also Kindle under my normal name.


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