There is nothing like a helicopter visit from a popular TV star and author to get children whipped up into a bit of excitement about the wonder of books.

And how fantastic to see the pictures of children brimming over with enthusiasm at the David Walliams event – certainly one to go down in the history books of the Great Missenden Cof E Combined School, which was one of just six chosen from an incredible 9,000 for a visit.

Just as great to see is the wealth of World Book Day events sweeping schools across Bucks, with many pupils dressing up as the characters that fire up their imagination.

So it seems a bit of a shame that this is also the week we hear that the hours of a number of libraries across the area are likely to be cut. Public feedback is being sought, of course, but even so – cuts of some sort are coming.

It is, of course, naive to think that library hours should be ring-fenced if money needs to be freed up by Buckinghamshire County Council. And Wycombe Library – a fantastic service that I have already sung the praises of on this page recently – has extensive enough hours (51 per week at the moment) that shaving a few would not mean the end of the world (although having said that, I have found myself in there at all hours over the years – kicked out at 5pm on Sundays and there at the odd late night opening too). It would be a shame to drop to 43, but not catastrophic.

But for a library like, say, Micklefield, which could lose five and a half hours from it’s current 21 – a reduction of more than 25 per cent of its opening times – that may not be the case. Libraries are much needed lifelines for many– particularly the elderly and infirm. And fewer hours of operation is not much help for such people.

A few years ago, residents in Micklefield mounted a campaign to safeguard their library service, which happily came to a successful conclusion in 2007. It would be awfully sad to see that great work undone, a cut at a time, with cost saving measures like this. It is a fair assumption, after all, that this revision to the service’s hours may not be the only one proposed over the coming cash-strapped years.

Online access to books is great – a helpful and convenient by-product of the internet. But it is no substitute for a great big room filled with shelves creaking under the weight of books.

If we are to capitalise on excellent, school focused events like World Book Day, we need to see children browsing, discovering, and reading, and this is simply a more joyful and exciting experience in a library than it ever will be on a computer screen with a drearily presented list of titles you can then click on (yawn) and download.

That is fine as a means of reading after the bug has been caught. But until then the enthusiasm to read has to be nurtured before it catches fire of its own accord.

And that is where libraries, and good old-fashioned physical bookshops come into play. And long may it continue – but to do so, we need to make sure they stay open for business in the first place.