Monday, April 21

Inestimable Impacts -

Before I'd heard of Harry Potter, I knew of a fictional youngster named Adrian Mole. I don't remember how I had first heard of him, but he was a delightful discovery.

Recent reports inform us that Sue Townsend, the author who created Adrian Mole, has passed away.

Years ago, while I was still living up North, I was a somewhat active member of my local small town public library. One day, about a month before Christmas, when I approached the librarian's counter, she told me about a project she wanted us participate in which was aimed at underprivileged or disadvantaged children.

She asked us to select and donate a book for an unknown child's Christmas gift, leave it in an unsealed envelope, and mark on the outside of the envelope which gender and age range the intended recipient should be.

I decided to aim a book at the most difficult category to woo as prospective readers and book lovers: young boys about eleven years old.

In order to pick out an appropriate book for this project, I traveled to a nearby bookstore, sat down on a bench inside it, and listened to a recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons over the PA system.

After brainstorming for a quarter hour or more, Adrian Mole flew into my mind and I decided he was fit for purpose. I then searched for an inexpensive paperback version of Adrian's Secret Diary, as my modest budget would allow, and followed the librarian's packaging directions.

When I brought the book in to the library to donate it, I was surprised to discover our librarian had never heard of Adrian Mole. She asked me if she could read the book  before packing it off to its next destination, and I so consented.

I regret that I was never able to follow up on the results of that project. I could only hope that whichever eleven-year-old boy received the book developed an enthusiasm for reading from the experience.

NB: I have been experiencing horrendous connection problems lately. It appears that the Clear company has merged with the Sprint company. Ever since this merger came to light recently, they have been disconnecting me frequently after I am online for only a few minutes at a time.

Then, they asked me to update something with only vague directions on how to do that. I don't think they should entrust ordinary non-geek customers to handle such technical issues on our own. As it is, I've been paying for a connection that I haven't been able to use very much lately, and I am very irked and frustrated about it.

:: Sue Townsend - Telegraph ::

:: Townsend - Mail ::