THINKING ALOUD In the eighth grade, I was voted class bookworm. It makes me sigh, even now.

This was not unjust. One of my earliest, abiding memories is of a long hallway, lined with long tables, piled high with books. I was five, it was kindergarten, I loved books, and I gathered up ten of them, and got a bollicking when they had to paid for. I can see the long hallway now, the journey home on the schoolbus, my copy of a pop-up Twas The Night Before Christmas, which some horrible little creature, older than me, broke.

And here we are in 2007. I have learned my lesson about loaning books to people. Thanks to the magic of the internets, however, we can imagine that I’m virtually lending out my most favoured volumes for your edification. I don’t expect that these posts will be book reviews; as an erstwhile critic, I suppose I’m able for it, but I’d prefer to be sparking a conversation rather than handing down thoughts from on high [although all good criticism should start a conversation rather appear to be finishing it].

My library ranges from practical handbooks to anthologies of the heart-warming sort, and I am the biggest fan of case studies. I would read a 50-volume encyclopedia about other people’s horses. There’s some fiction, too, and I admit, with no chagrin, that I read Black Beauty, for the first time, three months ago.

I can’t promise that every Friday is book club day, and I don’t know for sure when the first one will appear, but I’ve, er, got the bit between my teeth. And we all know what that means.