Books transform lives.
Access to information empowers individuals and communities.
Every schoolchild in Britain will today receive a £1 book token to mark World Book Day. Yet there are millions of people around the world who do not have the opportunity to buy a book, read a book, or even to learn to read a book.
That's why I want to highlight the Reverse Book Club, whose pitch is "4 books for £5 - and you never receive a single one of them!"
In the last few days, commentators here have rehearsed the arguments for education as a means for the disadvantaged in this country to escape from poverty. But exactly the same is true for those in the developing world except their opportunities for obtaining an education are much lower. And before you ask, "Who cares?" let me remind you of something I wrote in The Times almost four years ago:
"Every country that does not enjoy access to basic freedoms such as education and healthcare is not only a country that cannot fulfil its potential but is also a country that will become a drain on and even a potential threat to the security of the international community."So, next time you pick up a novel for £5, buy another four for the same price. You'll never receive a single one of them, but you'll be making a world of difference.