I GIVE THANKS FOR BOOKS
As it was world book day this week we will give thanks for books! There are two things we need to give thanks for here- the ability to read and write and for books themselves. Reading and writing were originally available strictly to the rich and used as a tool to ensure such riches remained the domain of the wealthy; whereas these days most of us have the opportunity to learn to read and write however energy/commerce still rule the world!
To me, books are a joy. They have a distinctive feel- especially old, well-worn editions and they can be very valuable. Books serve many purposes but the two main categories are knowledge and relaxation. Books have developed a reputation as comforters; when people are ill sometimes we still hold the quaint vision of them being tucked up in bed with a good book! Of course these days they are just as likely to be reading from a Kindle, Tablet or similar.
Whatever your mood you can probably find the right book for the occasion and a good story can definitely lift your mood. My preferences are crime novels and a few authors of fictional works. I’m not a Mills and Boon lover but a little loving in a book is a good thing! People can lose themselves in stories and enter many worlds. I recently started reading an award winning book by an Asian author. It was very well written however I struggled so gave up quickly- same goes for the historical novels which others happily consume. My belief is that there are so many fantastic books you may as well read what you love rather than forcing yourself to finish a book for the sake of it. Of course, we are privileged to have free libraries here in the UK so you can borrow what you fancy for free provided the books are returned by their due date.
There are different types of books from picture books to maps and for children there is a very enticing choice including fancy pop-up books. Reading to children can be a real pleasure and they generally develop a sense of anticipation once they become familiar with a story. Reference books are still a valuable resource although these days we can discover most answers to our questions on-line. One highly successful trend is the increase in self-help books; a feature of every good book shop. We have turned into a nation of people who try to find our own answers to every problem from low self esteem to spirituality, improved health and many more. As people inspire other people this is a good thing! It is also easy to publish your own work- must get on with that poetry book!
Sadly, some people struggle with words, many suffering with dyslexia to some degree. The good thing is that audio books have really taken off and are easily accessible. As some people prefer to listen as opposed to read this is a great advance and it helps spread good literature.
The world of books has influenced the world of films which in turn influences today’s music. Fifty Shades of Gray being the latest example and Harry Potter for children- although Harry Potter books and films are often coveted by adults! Not every story transcribes accurately to a different genre but many do make fantastic films.
I am very pleased to have re-discovered the reading habit- it makes a great end to the day and certainly takes the mind to far- away places and occasionally some pretty dark alleys! I really hope that proper printed books never become obsolete- the wealth of new stories and new information is pretty mind blowing.