It’s been quite a year. We eased in with  Her Majesty The Queens’ jubilee celebrations and swiftly on its heels came the glorious Olympics with an accompanying flurry of cultural olympiad-ness which contrasted with stringent, sweeping cuts to the Arts across the UK.  In schools the talk is all about budgets and keeping up with ever changing legislation and endless guidance documents, in theatres the talk is all about budgets and keeping up with the ever changing funding landscape, it’s a similar story in museums, galleries and libraries. Culture is battening down the hatches. So I was pleased to read in the Guardian about the opening of the ‘book arts centre’ in Hackney; a labour of love by Simon Goode, pity it’s in London, I thought, but… an art centre dedicated to the ancient art of  ‘the book’ – cool! A new art form – ‘book arts’ – double cool!

I bought twenty one books for my daughter’s class this Christmas, one to be opened every day from the first of December until the end of term by way of a creative and educational ‘advent calendar’.  I was secretly delighted to see several of the boys proudly displaying those books to their parents at home time as they took them home ‘on loan’. Books are an ‘aladdins cave’ of mystery, excitement and revelation these days and geek that I am, I still harbour huge excitement at receiving and starting a new book. I’m a self-confessed ‘page turner’.  I met an antiquarian book dealer this Christmas, just the covers alone of his collection of books on British Coin got me salivating, so I’m hoping 2013 may prove to be amongst other things the year of the book.