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‘You are a beacon of civilisation . . .’

‘I just wanted to include a quick note with my subscription renewal to say how highly I regard the publication. For me you are a beacon of civilisation in a world increasingly hostile to the book lover. I write this from a county that are planning to dispose of many of the library staff and make the vast majority of the libraries the responsibility of volunteers. It will be the start of a death by a thousand cuts; the attitude is best summed up by one councillor who said that most people read books on their mobile phones these days. It makes you lost for words; the barbarians are definitely inside the gates. Anyway enough of my grumpy old man act.

Like many of your readers I have to fight-half-heartedly-to try and read some books not mentioned in SF! For me there are 3 categories – books I have read, books I have heard of but haven’t read and of course those I haven’t heard of. Your essays prompt me to reread some of the first category, take up the second having being convinced it will be worthwhile. I would put The Flame Trees of Thika in this category – a beautifully written account that now prompts me to hunt out the next volume of her autobiography.

In many respects the final category is the most rewarding. I have just finished A House in Flanders by Michael Jenkins. This is not one I took up convinced it would be for me. I was completely bowled over by it. It truly was one of those stories that you didn’t want to end. I will now see if there is a sequel. What more can you say in praise.

I hope Slightly Foxed continues to prosper.’ G. Kerr


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