©All Rights Ruby Lescott
To my shame, I was reading a book that I had written. It’s called The Write Stuff, and it’s a history of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. And I was reading the chapter on Public Lending Right to remind myself of the UK’s 40 year long fight to gain Public Lending Right for authors. The European Writers’ Council is presently engaged in a similar struggle on behalf of those nations in the EU that have not yet established the Public Lending Right. I thought I might learn something from re-reading that chapter of the book.
As to why I think reading is important, well, first of all, it’s a joy. There we are, with our mind engaged in intimate contact with the mind of the writer, someone whom we’ve probably never met but whose imagination fires our own imagination. It’s a glorious meeting. Secondly, there is such a wealth of humanity in a book, fiction or non-fiction. In reading, we meet characters who may well shape our own beliefs and morality, And, thirdly, we learn that, for all our advances in science and technology, we haven’t changed. All over the world, we are still the good, bad, happy, sad, kind, selfish, wise and stupid people that our ancestors were. I don’t know why, but somehow, I find both comfort and excitement in that.
President of the European Writers’ Council