Dreary Deary

Local budget cuts in Sunderland, England have put public dollars for libraries on the chopping block.  Terry Deary, beloved author of the Horrible Histories series, decided to capitalize on the country’s recession and spoke in support of closing library branches.  Deary cited inadequate compensation for authors when a library book is borrowed.  It’s pence on the pound of profit when a book is purchased.  Dreary Deary, were you not aware of this policy before the recession?  You’re not exactly a rookie author.  As we say on the other side of the pond, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”  Petition to have the cap on money paid for lending removed and the per book payout increased.  But attack universal access to knowledge?  Seriously, Deary, go back and read your own books to recall how restrictions on library access have suppressed the non-elite (not just the poor) for centuries.

My children have loved these books to include the Savage Stone Age and the Villainous Victorians.  While sticky with gross tidbits of history seldom found in a text book, this series conspicuously lacks any citation.  The reader is to take the alleged historical facts on faith. Would a trip to the library reveal this history to be fiction?   I would hate for the poor to have universal access to misinformation, so perhaps Dreary’s books should be removed from libraries on this account.  It’s a win-win.  Dreary won’t be troubled with subsidizing the poor’s education.  I’m sure his arguments will have his readership running to the nearest bookstore to buy his books.

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2 thoughts on “Dreary Deary

  1. Libraries shaped my reading by giving me the chance to take in pretty much anything I wanted for free. If my parents had had to buy every book I consumed then the choice would have been limited and I’d have read us out of house and home.

    On the plus side, TD and John Sclazi inspired me to write this:
    http://nolanparker.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/a-personal-history-of-libraries/

    It would be great if the web filled up with people doing the same just to show how importantn libraries are to us all.

    • I do find libraries afford me the opportunity to take risks with my reading selections. What inevitably happens is that I end up purchasing the books I particularly enjoy or want as references. Secondarily, libraries are great places to start teaching kids how to make personal contacts and develop relationships with people who can help with their education. Thanks for sharing your post!

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