I’ve always had a bee in my bonnet about books. I love reading and I’m never without a book. I’ve even been in to schools to give talks on my favourite books. Indeed, there is no doubt that my love of books inspired me into this fine profession. So when a friend asked me if I would like to take part in an event for World Book Night this evening at Hanley Library I jumped at the chance. I have written and will be running a session of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer Roleplaying Game. It’s a bit of fun with a few friends but there’s a serious message to the worldwide event. Over here in the UK where books are cheap as chips we seem to be falling out of love with reading. Schools are falling over themselves to show off their learning resource centres (large rooms stuffed with computers and a tiny, token library hidden away somewhere). Is it any wonder literacy standards are so poor when generations of children are growing up with more of a grasp of text speak than the Queen’s English? Get a good book, I say. Even if it is about vampires! As the American academic Charles Eliot wrote: ‘Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.’ Amen to that.