John Penrose MP...

Last week I confessed a guilty secret about my past. It wasn't a very big or embarrassing secret, I'm afraid, so no-one phoned the tabloids

Last week I confessed a guilty secret about my past. It wasn't a very big or embarrassing secret, I'm afraid, so no-one phoned the tabloids. But I was presenting certificates to 40 children who had completed the Summer Reading Challenge and I had to get it off my chest. The Reading Challenge event was held at the Campus library in Worle, and I was reminding the children that the library was full of loads more brilliant books for them to try. Then I remembered the guilty secret. I've always read a lot, so when I was at school my Mum used to take me to the library all the time to find new books. But there was a maximum number of books you could borrow, and when we went away on holiday I would always run out before we got home. Any parent knows that bored kids are a nightmare on holiday, so my Mum came up with a novel solution. She enrolled our cat as a member of the local library, so we could take out more books for the holiday. The rules said you could sign up any member of your family, but not that they had to be human, so my Mum decided to take advantage of this loophole.Everything went brilliantly for a while. We had masses of books to read on holiday, and didn't get bored at all. But disaster struck when my sister, who was about 6-years-old at the time, accidentally shopped my Mum to the local librarian who, sadly, didn't have a sense of humour.I'm not sure whether this set a good example to the Reading Challenge kids, but I hope they'll carry on reading in future. I just hope the Campus will let me back in the library next week!


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