Goodbye Neruda, Hello Joso


I'm a bit of Clingon. I cling on to books. But I did manage to let Pablo Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair go on Wednesday night, such was the condition for entry to The Goodbye Library at The Nave (love converted churches) in Islington. I have to admit I don't often visit a library. A public one, at any rate. This night of music, poetry readings and beer-in-plastic-cups, with its bring one book, take one book, policy was designed as an off-beat weekday hoot- but did raise the rather deep question Why do we have to own everything?

A friend told me about an initiative in Spain (is everything more fluid in Spain??) where people would leave books in public places for other people to find. I say bring it on, London. I will be depositing my books in a nook/cranny near you. I exchanged my Neruda (just too sappy for me) for a total random which I liked the cover design of. Jayne Joso's debut novel Soothing Music for Stray Cats is apparently "an unexpected and moving story about the redemption of misfits and the consolation of strangers". Sounds right up my alley. Also had the pleasure of listening to this wonderfully restrained, uncomfortably beautiful, singer-songwriter. Lovely, echoey, sat in a cross-legged crowd of strangers stuff.

London Word Festival runs until 5th May. Another great antidote to whatever you need an antidote for these days.