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Contemporary fears about the decline of the publishing industry are misguided in a country that has always embraced the written word, writes Jennifer O'Connell.

9th June, 2012
'I don't know if I could survive in a world where everyone was reading diet books and The Hunger Games.'

For years, I thought it was just me. I would find myself surreptitiously doing it on planes, in the park, on the beach - anywhere people are to be found alone in a crowd.

My neck would jerk like the limbs of a startled newborn, and begin craning and twisting to have a look at what they were reading. At parties, at some point in the evening, I would eventually discover myself in the sitting...

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