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I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a book in my hands. I love the printed word and I have many books on a range of topics that I have read and collected over 30 years. What I find interesting is that I can’t throw books away. I can recycle them, push them to the back of my book cases but I just cannot discard them.
Having a love of books is useful given that I am a Board member of the British Library, a great institution that holds the World’s knowledge. At Board meetings we are able to handle rare books and I marvel at the craft of book-making. The binding, printing, paper, inks, font, style, all fascinate me in the choices that people have made throughout history. The craft of word-making is equally engaging. The ingenuity of people to articulate their thoughts, facts, emotions and observations continue to inspire me.
I am also interested in the stories in books – no matter what its genre. In September 2010 I wrote ‘Semple’ a book about women and the stories behind their favourite item of clothing. The book continues to have a wonderful response from readers as the MSL proposition seems to have caught the zeitgeist.
I have to admit however, that travelling abroad no longer makes it possible for me to carry books. Using an electronic book has become the perfect answer. I can download in seconds and be reading within minutes. However I will continue to buy and read hard copy books as there is just something about reading printed words.