It's one of those awkward, questions conveniently ignored by curriculum reformers: now that Of Mice and Men is on its way out as a set text in GCSE English literature, what are secondaries supposed to do with all the books? At my school alone we'll have more than 650 unwanted copies. A rough estimate puts the forthcoming surplus at about 1 million nationally.
The actual figure may well be much higher. Students are usually allocated two editions - one to annotate and a clean one to take into the exam hall. If we add on all those threadbare spare copies kept in desks (used for bailing out the more careless and forgetful), that number could be pushing 1.5 million.
That's an awful lot of mice and men to find a new home for. And there's no point in shipping them to English-speaking schools across the Atlantic and beyond. Stock cupboards the world over are bursting with mice, men, mockingbirds and the like.
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