ECHO COMMENT: Return of The Works and well done Pate's
THE future was not supposed to be particularly bright for book shops or, come to that, book lovers.
The growth of online shopping has seen many people buy books from the comfort of their own home whether they are buying for themselves or as presents for others .
That was followed by the arrival of e-book readers specifically designed to enable books to be read online, with hundreds of books available at the touch of a button.
All very well, of course. But is it really what everyone wants?
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There’s nothing to beat a visit to a bookshop, with its mass of possibilities spread out before you. Not as slabs of text on a small screen, but as shelf upon shelf of colour.
There’s also nothing better than the thrill of opening a book that you’ve been anticipating and greedily turning the pages as it fulfils all your hopes.
Perhaps the days of the bookshop aren’t numbered after all, with the news that The Works has reopened in Cheltenham’s High Street.
It might not be seen as the most dramatic development in the town centre but it should be. This is a discount chain that left the town because its shop was losing money in 2009.
How often is it that, three years later, that same business returns, investing in a prominent site. It is also one of 10 it is opening across the UK.
With established book shops like Waterstones still thriving in the town, this is good news whether you’re a bookworm or not.
Top marks for Cheltenham’s Pate’s Grammar
YOU’D expect the head of an award winning school to give much of the credit to his staff.
But it’s perhaps the fact that Russel Ellicott is just as quick to praise his pupils that explains why Pate’s Grammar School has achieved what it has.
Make no mistake, to be handed the accolade of best state secondary in the country in the Sunday Times Good Schools Guide is a remarkable achievement.
But the quality of work being done so enthusiastically by the pupils has always been a major factor in its popularity.
Even better in some ways that this decision wasn’t based simply on Pate’s finishing top of a league table but on consistent high performance over many years.