– Ernest Hemingway said: “There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
It’s world book day 2015, and as good an excuse as any to explore the reasons why – in my opinion – books will always be trendy.
I always feel a bit out of the loop when people reflect on their favourite childhood pastimes, games and consoles. “You must have had a playstation!” they cry in disbelief.
On the contrary, I did not own a Playstation, a Gameboy, or an Xbox. I didn’t play Pokemon and I don’t think I’ve even completed a game of Monopoly. When I find myself trapped in these reminiscent conversations, I do start to question what on earth I did with my time, and whether my mum just locked me in a cupboard under the stairs and I’ve simply managed to repress it thus far.
“The more you read, the more you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” – Dr Seuss.
Assuming that my parents did not subject me to any such treatment, the constant pastime for me was that of books. Whether it stories of wizards, wars or even windmills; I have hundreds upon hundreds of happy memories spent as a serial page turner.
Books are so indisputably important. They’re a means of escape to hundreds of people on an otherwise rotten day. They’re the best tool to allow you to grow as a writer, teaching you words that otherwise would sound like gobbledygook. They act an insight into someone else’s mind, day or even world. The give you an understanding of places and people that you may be otherwise unable to experience yourself.
The power of the written word is often over-sighted, but should never be underestimated. The film will never be as good as the book, reading the blurb will never be enough, and skim reading quickly past the paragraphs will never be sufficient.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of councillors and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles Eliot.
Sit yourself down in the most comfortable chair you can find – one of those saggy looking armchairs that looks as though has been sat in by a really wise fat man for years and years. Not a smelly fat man; a really friendly, jolly kind of gent that is more than happy to lend you some time in his lovely chair. Get yourself a cup of coffee and stick your nose in someone’s favourite book. (Make sure your nose is clean if this is someone else’s favourite book, however.)
Discovering a love for the world of books means that you will never have nothing to do, or nothing to say. You’ll understand the anguish of dropping your book in the bath and watching the paper dry funny, you’ll wince as you fold pack the first corner to mark your place when you’ve lost your bookmark, you’ll sigh when you notice that you’ve bent the spine entirely out of shape. – Or maybe you’ll just understand the annoyance of your kindle battery dying just as you are reaching for your charger.
“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”
It doesn’t matter how you read, just read. Pass it on to your brother, sister, cousin, neighbour or even the person next to you on the bus if they don’t look too mental. Recommend your favourite book to someone, stop by a book shop or library and source yourself one of those very saggy chairs.
Books will always be clever and they will always be cool – Happy World Book Day.