We Need Worms …and Book Worms by Morag Warrack (first published in West Sussex County Times)

Green Library

We’re slowly moving towards creating a more permanent Green Hub for Horsham, inspired by the excellent Zero at Guildford. One of the many things we’d love, alongside a Community Fridge, a Seed Bank, and a Library of Things (such as ladders or tents) is a Green Book Library.

There are countless wonderful books available, some written by children, such as Greta Thunberg’s tiny motivational book, ‘No-one is too small to make a difference’.  Even her inspirational title is clearly intended to change people’s lives for the better.  When Greta has been asked “What can we do?” her reply has been, “Educate yourself””

What better way to start, then, than by borrowing a book from a Green Library?

We’re grateful for donations from individuals and groups and have recently been gifted some books which Christs Hospital School library were releasing.

There are fabulous pop-up books for children explaining our weather and climate and many with exquisitely beautiful illustrations such as Robert Macfarlane’s The Lost Words (words which today’s children are not familiar with such as ‘acorn’, ‘bramble’ or ‘skylark’).

A life changing book as witnessed and highly recommended by Paul Hannam of Greening Steyning is Thom Hartman’s ‘The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’ which makes clear the bigger picture that we are all solar-powered one way or another, and everything is inter-related one way or another…a message poet and preacher John Donne shared in 1642 when he said, ‘No man is an island”.  From Orwell’s fictional ‘1984’ to the spiritual, ‘You Matter’ by Delia Smith, books can change the way we understand our place in the world.

Reading ‘The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight’ led to Paul selling up his very successful business in the USA and returning to the UK to work on the climate and biodiversity crisis, to share his knowledge.  Because the first step is noticing.  Looking.  Realising.  Knowing where we really are, not where we believed we were. Telling ourselves the truth, courageously.  Because only when we see where we are on the map can we wisely begin to move forward.

Horsham Library is excellent and can order books in for you.  Avoid buying books from Amazon as it’s a massive company that deliberately undermines small local businesses while avoiding paying tax, even though its owner Jeff Bezos is the richest person on the planet, whereas charity shops and the second-hand bookshop at Nymans raise money for good causes when you buy.

Some other recommendations are Wilding, Isabella Tree’s local story of Knepp Castle; The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wholberg, a magical book which explains that trees are far more like us than we ever imagined; Re-Birding by Benedict Macdonald; Who Owns England by Guy Shrubsole, and Emotionally Durable Design, a textbook which looks at why we throw away perfectly good things to buy more.

Enjoy educating yourself!

By Morag Warrack

Morag