Some of you are probably tired of hearing me talk about Lionel Shriver (this is why I have not posted about Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood doing the soundtrack to the film version of We Need to Talk About Kevin—oh wait, I just did).

But too bad, because she recently gave an interview on the importance of libraries that Book Case and BookPage readers shouldn't miss. It's a bit scattered, but the interviewer basically just quotes Shriver for most of the piece, which makes for some interesting reading.

Just like the US, the UK is having to make some difficult budget choices. And just like the US, the UK is making cuts to cultural funding, including funding for libraries. Characteristically, Shriver mounts her defense in solely practical terms.

"I think you have to be cautious about destroying institutions and even buildings that would take huge amounts of money to replace.

“A library is the product of many years of effort, acquisition and investment. You save only so much money if you stop running it. But if you were to try to re-establish it, it would cost you a fortune. . . .

“It’s also an institution that makes it clear to people that they get something from government. And, you know, for people who are taxpayers and not on benefits, it’s hard to point to what you get."

You can read the full interview here.

And for those of you who aren't tired of Shriver—keep an eye out for our upcoming podcast about So Much for That.


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