Good afternoon, you there in far-flung places.
You read, don't you? (DUH! The fact that you are reading this right now doesn't mean a thing. Sorry! I mean, you read properly, don't you? Books!)
I sincerely hope you do. Reading is, next to eating and listening to music, the great pleasure of my life. When people tell me they don't read, I try to stay focussed and not to judge. But secretly I tend to tune out a tad. Ironically, I married a non-reader. I can still be amazed that Life dealt me such a low blow...but I fell in love with the guy...what can you do?
I started reading to my kids when they were still in the womb. I'm serious! There I was, in a hospital bed for four months whilst the medical profession was doing its utmost to keep my son safely where he belonged, and I read everything by Bill Bryson to him. I have the conviction that is a. why he loves to read himself and b. why he wants to be a travelling photographer and c. why he has such a superb sense of humour.
The first thing I did after taking my daughter home from hospital was to snuggle up with her and her big 4 year old brother in bed and read Winnie-the-Pooh to them. My daughter had a library card from when she was 4 weeks old.
So, one of my favourite places in Rotterdam being in trouble, pains me. I'm talking about Donner (sod that name Polaris, or even Selexys; it will always be Donner to me), the largest, most cool bookshop we used to have. It was filled with gorgeous beautiful books, and it had efficient staff and Bagels and Beans if you needed a coffee, with a lovely roof terrace. And it's in trouble, because people don't buy books anymore. They download them. They swop ways of getting eBooks for free. Or they buy them online.
Thank Frith that a couple of the Donner booksellers from old have started a crowdfunding FB page, in an attempt to save Donner for the readers of Rotterdam. The address is:
So far, a lot of people have realised they don't want to buy their books from a very limited supply in the supermarket, and have donated money. But not enough, yet.
So this is a double-edged plea. Buy (and read) real books. And help save Donner!