I am a sucker for information served neat as spirits, particularly of the historical/geographical/political kind. So the new Guardian World FactFiles series, providing digestible A4 length sets of facts on every single country in the world ( and I mean that excited emphasis most sincerely) including rates of literacy, mortality, GDP, indices on press freedom etc is manna from heaven for me. I fully intend to survey every page – that is, country – and am sure I will eventually feel a swell of tremendous satisfaction at having ‘travelled the globe’ in this easy way, cup of coffee in hand, safe in my Kilburn kitchen.
No child in my vicinity is safe from the impact of these info-digests; on Saturday morning, when the first supplement arrived, it was only a matter of minutes before I was pestering my girls to test me on key facts in the A-B section ( and that didn’t even take in Burundi, which arrived this morning as part of supplement number 2 taking us up to Eritrea.) It’s all proving about as fun as a crossword or sudoku puzzle. Make of that what you will. What I mean by it, however, is that I find it really fun.( Oh and I love the world map that comes with it. It’s just such a pity that everything is printed on such flimsy paper as I fully intend to keep all this stuff for years and have already earmarked a blue box file for that very purpose……….)