THE POWER OF A PAPERBACK

We often curse the train until a lovely story emerges from one of its over crowded and unpleasantly scented carriages…..

Yesterday, I stood like a packed sardine amongst a group of teenage girls and their ripped penneys bags as they returned home from a day of Christmas shopping, loud and giddy and deliriously glee. Remember as we would all be at that age, a battle for the title of loudest and most hyper, long before we learned the beauty of silence?

But they were not at all bothersome, and for some reason they entertained me enough to leave my earphones out for the journey. They screamed and cursed and and cackled in the basque of their innocence, snap-chatting their every move as the miles rolled away, and I found myself feeling envious of their carefree immaturity.

And then they put the phones away, and began to compare the books they had just bought.

I smiled a warm sigh of relief as they unveiled the literature that I feared was ignored by the ones who need it most – the gospel according to blindboy, rupi kaurs the sun and her flowers, tales against racism and stories of love and equality. All the good stuff. As they discussed the books with surprising sophistication, I regained faith In something I didn’t even know was lost. I regained faith in modern society and the way it is moulding our youth. I see a shift happening, away from the toxic digital age of social media and fake news and negative content, and back towards a more grounded society, one in which the words between a paperback can positively change a life.

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