Over the last few weeks, there has been an outdoor exhibition in London called Books about Town. Artists have designed benches based on well known books, and the benches are displayed at various points throughout the city.
Above is the bench dedicated to E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children, situated near the pier in Greenwich. Amazingly, this book, first published in 1905, has never been out of print. But isn’t this like it is now? Surely books published electronically will always be available, and gone are the days when it was virtually impossible to get hold of a book because, quite simply, no one was printing it any more.
Quite a few times recently, I have wanted a book quickly because something has reminded me of it or I’ve wanted to look something up, and I’ve found that, thanks to the dedication of people working for organisations like Project Gutenberg, I’ve been able to download it almost as soon as the thought has crossed my mind. Yes, of course I like the feel of a real book in my hands, but there is no doubt that ebooks have their uses!
Below, however, is a bench in honour of a book that probably doesn’t lend itself so well to epublishing. I have happy memories of reading The Gruffalo to my daughter when she was little and we would both marvel at its glorious pictures.