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Scotland, which is better than England, deems books an essential good.

Jonny Diamond

January 13, 2021, 1:20pm

As the son of a Glaswegian I occasionally take a little pride in the goings on of the olde country, so I was pleased to see that Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, in the midst of increasing restrictions due to Covid-19, has seen fit to include books in the list of essential goods, along with clothes, shoes, baby necessities, and, I assume, cans of Irn Bru.

And while I understand the reluctance of bookstore workers to see books as essential—their continued sale, after all, endangers the lives of booksellers—it is nonetheless heartening to see literary culture, embodied as it is in a bookstore, deemed an important aspect of any given society. One can only hope there are parallel provisions in place to provide all essential retail locations with safety precautions necessary to keep workers safe.

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