Shiver me trousers, why would someone as bad at blogging as me have a blog? I blame you, austerity Britain. Or possibly bears. The important thing to remember is it's someone else's fault.

Anyway, if I can't blog about books on World Book Day, what kind of an author am I? Don't answer that.

So I've had a week visiting schools (and it ain't over yet) and it struck me, like a sock filled with tasty cheese, that I like it. For a bunch of reasons. Here are a few. Of them.

1) It is immeasurably satisfying to talk about the stuff you do all day and have people listen to your rambling and guffling, even if they're only doing it 'cause they have to (see 2) for clarification.

2) I may be wrong, but think a lot of authors are lonely. We spend a ridiculous amount of time in our own company with our own stupid thoughts. This has been proven, time and again, to be fairly unhealthy. We also tend to be plagued with self doubt. This week has made me feel better - and that's your fault, people in schools. You are people, sure, but you're jolly nice, universally welcoming people and that's all good.

3) It wasn't like this in my day. No, but it wasn't. I'm old. Not your granddad old, but possibly your dad old. When I was growing up the choice of and passion/enthusiasm for books wasn't anything like it is now. This is grand scale, and that's just grand. Is it 'cause children are reading less and we need to fix it, so everyone's busting a gut to make reading those book things seem important again? No, it's because there is a giant, thousand-armed, million-brained monster of sheer, unbridled Enthusiasm driving things forward. It's makes me wish I was a child now. Also 'cause I would get free bus travel.

4) I don't think I've ever enjoyed a week of school visits as much as this. Not to overplay it but it feels like an upswell, like somebody somewhere scoffed that the written word was dying... (see 5) and everyone else said, "You're probably joking, but just in case you're not and you're an irremediable bumstain (see 5) again) I'm going to remind you that reading those book things is a uniquely transformative experience, a gift and a challenge and an impossibly gigantonormous hug-worth of knowledge, imagination and ideas, transporting you to an endless number of worlds owned by you and you alone.

5) Because the stupid, stupid government told us/you/them to "Make Children Read For Pleasure" and you can't make us 'cause we were doing it anyway and shut up and you smell like bad breath and dust.

Happy World Book Day 2013!

P.S. Scariest. WDB costume. Ever.

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