Everyone has a book in them

I go to the public library quite a lot. I have an elderly mother who, not having been a great reader in her younger days, is now a voracious consumer of biography and non-fiction generally. At 94, she doesn’t want novels - she wants REALITY. In the Big Print section, there’s a good selection of old soldiers’ memoirs, rural childhoods in the England of the ‘30s and books about ‘life below stairs’. These are written by ordinary people who sometimes may have tales of extraordinary hardship and grind and sometimes sweet memories of a lost pastoral idyll. It has become true in the 21st century that almost everyone has a book in them. Well, bring it on, say I. The world has changed so much, we must encourage the old (is that me too?) to get their memories written down before they are gone for ever.

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