On a chilly night. It is time that we started burning books.

(Please read on as this is a very dodgy title for a post) Obviously I am against banning books, burning them is another matter, under certain circumstances. Once upon a time as a younger man I roved, climbing hills as young men do. fishing unknown hill lochs. Unseasonable, a blizzard appeared as though summoned by a spurned lover or overwrought parent that wished my end. Both would have been justified in thier ire. I stumbled on through ever deeper snow drifts. May, the month of turning and spring warming tree roots and pastures. clad in only light boots, jeans, jacket, and sunglasses, I found myself soaked and shivering in a blinding wilderness of rock and snow. I stumbled on freezing.

Heaven knows how I was able to shuffle on and find a tiny, shed or bothy set in a small dip between the mountains.

Feet hot after the numbness, hands blue, I broke the lock. No fire was set in the small hearth, but the few shelves contained many well-thumbed books. Left and read, perhaps, by shepherds, backpackers, and mountaineers. Even in such extremity I chose those that I did not like to burn.

I can therefore, say, that Catherine Cookson, Maeve Binchy and Dick Francis saved my life. those authors I loved would have let me freeze.


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