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Philip Whearty gave us his Viewpoint tonight.

'The Book Fair can be viewed from a number of perspectives. It is a fund raiser, a community service, and a project that capitalises on a spirit of generosity and team work. It is undoubtedly vertebrate by nature. For the most part, Gwyn and Alan are the entire 26 bones of its spinal cord, with the Club and Public assigned Cartilage roles. During the event it becomes full-bodied, touching almost the entire membership plus allies.

'Involvement has led me to an observation. Some people molest books. Others stroke them, caress them, their touch more akin to the tenderness of a kiss than a grope. They open each leaf as if there is a lazy 100 dollar bill concealed between every page, but show no signs of remorse when there’s not. For them, every book has an intrinsic value far greater than our stingy two-dollar price ceiling, no matter how tatty or what the Jacket Title proclaims. They make terrible sorters. I've watched their discomfort making a decision. I suspect that the same part of the brain that heightens when the pilot announces that attendants should take their seats and that the food service is suspended is in play.

'I have experimented. Sometimes I rescue them from themselves in that I make the decision for them. I degree! great book but there is no market for it, as if acting in accordance with some statute, and chaperone it into the bin.

'On other occasions, I exonerate the Title, with a priestly marriage guidance-like confidence thereby delaying the administering of the last rights. Their relief is unmistakable.

''The bulk of my reading over the last 30 years has been work-related with the odd Michael Connelly thrown in. Recently I intercepted a book prior to it reaching sorting. I have no doubt it would not have passed Gwyn's muster and yet it has given me considerable delight. Its Title; "I used to know that”, subtitled, [Stuff you forgot from school], by Carolyn Taggart. There is something satisfyingly smug that comes from remembering Avogadros Constant, 6.022 x10 to the power of 23, Completing the square rituals, and Lord Cardigan's folly, even if only Tennyson's version.

'To bring me back to earth however, I freely admit that understanding the grammar section including Diphthongs, and other vowel characteristics still completely elude me. My excitement stemmed from the Literature Section and the re-acquaintance with the high school classics, Animal Farm, To kill a Mocking Bird and alike; in my case last visited during the Nixon, Ford years and just touching Carter’s.

'For someone who can get 20 minutes into a Netflix series before realising I watched the final last week, I’m finding my early learning, that tangled combination of episodic and semantic memory much more resilient. I’m enjoying revisiting the material with a wiser, less cynical, less idealistic head.

'My viewpoint is, don’t be ashamed to revisit past schooling, because truth be told most of us have forgotten about 90% of what we have ever known and all of what we never knew, but thought we did'.

Vertebrate by Nature

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