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'The lion sleeps- rest in peace, Cesar.'   Words attached to Sir Rod Stewart's wreath for Billy McNeill.


 "I love reading, because for a few moments you're in another person's shoes; your worries are non-existent your troubles not important; you can be someone else, even if just for a few moments."

 My reading life began at around seven years of age in the city of Glasgow, Scotland; or to be more precise in Govan, its shipbuilding district. There were three shipyards, all within a few hundred yards of my tenement home. It was there that I first encountered comics: The Beano and Dandy. But I soon moved on to the Hotspur, Wizard, Rover and Adventure.               Given our financial circumstamces, I was only able to purchase two of these on a Tuesday, and then do a 'swap' for the other two by Friday.

But my serious reading began when I joined the Elder Park Library, which the noted philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1903. The Biggles' books and the other stories of Bulldog Drummond were very popular at the time. Then I moved on to Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. In between, I devoured every newspaper I could find.

Now to list a few of the books that I have enjoyed; I think the top of the list must be 'The Arches of The Year' by Haliday Sutherland, followed closely by 'The Path to Rome' by Hillaire Belloc and 'Late have I loved Thee' by Ethel Mannin. 'From Those Wonderful Folk Who Gave You Pearl Harbour', an amusing book, yet at times serious. 'The Story of San Michele', I first cam across when it was read in the refectory of the Pallottine college, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, around 1955. Other favourites are 'Theology and Sanity' by Frank J. Sheed, and 'Who Moved the Stone?' This is an investigation by a journalist into the story of the Resurrection and who became a Catholic when he completed the book; finally, Samuel Pepy's Diaries. But many more books have enlightened me and given me pleasure in my restful hours.

"It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds..God be thanked for books."


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