In praise of libraries

One of the argument offered for cuts in the library service is the decreasing footprint of users. that's true, and important, but I remain an unrepentant user,deeply grateful for what the library offers, and anxious about a future world in which that offer will be restricted. 

 

For instance, I've just read Capital, by Thomas Piketty. I don't claim that to be ahead of the curve, since its real vogue was some time ago. Not to brag about my intellectual stamina, forcing by way through thickets of impenetrable European jargon. In fact, like War and Peace, it's extremely readable in bite-sized chunks, and Piketty is a modest, charming and witty guide to some quite forbidding territory - i.e. the international history of finance in various forms, spread over a wide range of nations. Only now, with computer-assisted analysis, would it be possible to make this kind of sustained comparative criticism, but even now it requires dogged persistence, a tough commitment to years of work because this stuff matters. and I get a taste of this, simply by putting in a request to my local library, and paying 60 p when the book arrives. It' a miracle.