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Belfast set to discover joys of text

There are few things in life more pleasurable than a well-organised and enthusiasm-driven book festival, so locals should be counting down to this week's Belfast Book Festival with a pounding heart.

With recent research telling us huge numbers of homes in the UK have no books in them - thus explaining the overwhelming number of uninformed idiots who populate our radio phone-ins and online message boards - the Belfast Book Festival is a timely reminder of how joyful, edifying and strangely comforting the shared love of a good book can be.

There are a number of events aimed squarely at kids, and some cool guests (David Peace, John Banville, Leontia Flynn), but best of all will be just milling about with book lovers, as it always is at such events.

The delightfully monikered Hugh Odling-Smee - not a Dickens character but the real-life co-ordinator of the festival - promises 'something for everyone'. For details go to belfastbookfestival.com.

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