I love the BBC. Oh, sure, they’ve got their problems, but whenever I’m in the UK–and now, because of the Internet–I listen to whatever I can on the BBC because while they are part of mainstream media, at least they try to capture more than .05% of what is going on in the world. I also like their coverage of class issues in the UK, and their coverage of arts, and of course, how they treat books.
And, how they treat book people.
One of the most free thinking book people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting during my book and shared reading research is Jane Davis. She’s a powerhouse feminist who started The Reader, a literary magazine based at the University of Liverpool. She was also instrumental in getting Reader Days going in the UK (publishers should be thanking her). And, most importantly, she is the person behind Get into Reading. This grassroots group is extremely successful in bringing shared reading and discussion to people who might not have easy access to books, the pleasure and wisdom they can bring, and to sharing the joy of reading with one another.
Now, you can hear Jane on the BBC – Radio 3 and you can vote for her, too, if you’re so inclined. She’s one of four Liverpuddlians who have been asked to propose a topic for the Free Thinking weekend. I don’t know a lot about this event, and I’m pressed for time to look through the BBC website. (Hmmm, maybe I’m not so impressed right now.) I did, however, listen to the files and am, as always, impressed with Jane’s wisdom and passion. I think you will be, too.