There’s a great quote from the admirable,  but with some people controversial, Australian journalist and commentator Phillip Adams about books. He says “My books are the sleepers on the rusting railway line of my life .. Just to walk among them is to absorb them by osmosis”. For teacher librarians across the world, books in their physical form are still an important part of their environment and their job. Also, books are often still how TLs are identified by school staff and students although this is becoming less. A former student of mine, working in the north of Scotland, once said that that the only thing she didn’t like about being a school librarian was being referred to as ‘the book wifie’ or ‘the library wifie’. I like buying books and like many people, have a heap of books I’ve still to read despite the fact that I bought them one or more years ago – and of course I may never read them. As an author, one of the great moments in your life is when you get a small parcel from the publishers which contains copies of your new book. It’s a strange feeling of pleasure and detachment because you’ve always moved on from producing that book and writing the book is no longer fresh. We’ll have printed books for a long time to come and of course, the intellectual content of the book far outweighs its physical appearance and feel but if my favourite novels of all time only existed in an online form, they’d still be my favourite books.


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