Liverpool Life The children's author Jacqueline Wilson was at the WHS Smith on Church Street today signing copies of her new work. The crowd which turned out looked like a human monument to reading. The queue of people snaked all about the isles of the shop out of the door. During my tea break at about five o'clock I walked the length of the line on my way to Starbucks, following as it weaved in and out up the street stretching past large city centre branches of Next, HMV, Top Shop, Burtons, Littlewoods, Once and Dixons. Children in school uniform waiting patiently with their parents, many clutching one, two or even more copies of Wilson's books. There hasn't been anything like this in years -- not when Atomic Kitten or the Sugababes appeared at the Virgin Megastore, or even when the limited number of tickets for the Paul McCartney concert went on sale. And they were all there because they love to read, because they wanted to meet the person who tells them stories, in Wilson's case about their own lives. And most impressively the author when interviewed by local television said she would stay there as long as it took to meet every child and sign their book, until midnight if necessary. I passed by again at quater to nine and even though the line had retreated into the shop, a hundred people some of which I recognised from the back of the queue four hours earlier stood expectantly and at there was Wilson, still greeting each child as if they were the first presumably leaving the little message she's famous for and making them fans for life. [see also The Guardian]

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