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Get down to your library

By Seamus Boyer

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Mark Twain once said a marvellous thing, one of many marvellous things really.

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them”.

It’s a way of saying that if you’re not reading good stuff, you may as well be illiterate.

Which is of course a brilliant and extreme exaggeration.

But what Mr Twain was saying is fair — if you don’t use that extraordinary gift that is reading to read worthwhile books, then you’re wasting it.

And it’s no use saying that we don’t have time, because we can always find it.

It’s especially not worth saying we can’t afford it, because that’s where libraries come in.

There are some great libraries around the region, with the bulk of their services free.

They’ve also adapted to incorporate new technologies in order to help stay relevant.

On any given Saturday morning, you’ll see children playing computer games and using the internet alongside people sitting reading the newspapers.

Libraries are particularly good for children’s books, which can be expensive to buy new, and kids tend to tire of some books after a single read.

So get down to your local library and get reading.

Preferably something that will give you an advantage over those who can’t.

Grit, determination and a little bit of luck guided the Black Caps to a well-deserved test series clean sweep of Pakistan yesterday.

And not luck for any of their dismissals, but because skipper Kane Williamson got away with taking too long to refer one to the TV match official.

Williamson was caught in two minds when deciding whether to go upstairs over a Sami Aslam shout.

He was too late, and replays showed that Aslam was indeed out.

It could have been disastrous.

In the end it didn’t matter at all, with a superb session of cricket leading to the loss of nine Pakistani wickets and a win to New Zealand.

Great patience from the team, coupled with yet another fiery spell of new-ball bowling from Neil Wagner, sealed the win.

After a horrible series in India, it was welcome relief.

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