No Disposals


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Simon Sweetman


In Wellington they’re weeding books – what a term. Words
are not beasts. There’s no need to cull. Nurture and grow and
build instead – create space for them and that creates need.

If you’re gonna talk gardens how about watering with thought
all of the people craving knowledge; leave books in the places
where they should be – build more sheds to house them and

watch them take root. What’s the worst that could happen?
You could create some new jobs. What’s the worst that could
happen? A few more researchers are able to keep up. What’s

the worst that could happen? Books galore and more and more
and suddenly we’re interested in something beyond profit-margins;
that alone is reason to invest. Albeit ironically. We need a way

to move past profit and loss. We need a home for the things that
matter – and not more measurements for if and when and how
they matter in any financial sense. In second-hand bookstores

every customer is grateful. They almost completely cannot
believe their luck. They are finding something they believed
lost to time. They are finding something they believed no longer

existed. That’s something special. I’ve been there to see their
faces. I’ve had my face do the dance of joy upon discovery. Just
last week I found a book I was sure was long gone and forever

buried. I rushed right home and read it twice. That special way
with a book is something we need to teach forever. We need
people to know what it’s like to hold words. To have that power

in their hands as it transfers through body to mind and soul.
That’s a process that needs no weeding, no pruning, there’s
always something magical in a book. Just take a look!

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Writer, radio producer and broadcaster Simon Sweetman released his debut book of poems, The Death of Music Journalism in 2020. He writes the subscription newsletter “Sounds Good!” on Substack. You can find all his other stuff at