So, somehow this most ultimately important day of days escaped my notice until today. (*crawls inside blanket fort to hide until the shame goes away*) But luckily I am not too late to the party, and I’m taking this opportunity to focus on why we must celebrate all the books!
All types of books — fiction and non-fiction, for all ages and levels of reading ability — are important. I know just yesterday I went on a rant about where I see lack-of-quality in certain genres or publications; but this doesn’t for a second mean I think some books shouldn’t exist. To live in a free society means having the freedom to read whatever you want, and so I 110% support all sorts of publishing. And I’m sure everyone can think of at least one book they’ve read somewhere along the way that had a profound impact on their life — and if that book had been shut down before it even got started (due to censorship), then that would never have happened.
So — celebrating books!
I don’t just mean the latest novel that’s tearing up social media and the bestseller lists. I mean picture books for little ones, early readers, Middle Grade to Young Adult, biographies and memoirs, self-help and DIY books, textbooks in all the subjects, graphic novels and manga and novelizations of films. Books reporting research and theories and explaining how to garden and knit and care for chinchillas. It’s all good.
My favorite genres are fantasy and history (an interesting mix to some), but that’s just my personal taste. I love seeing books of all sorts available for sale anywhere. I am very excited that I didn’t have to coax my oldest son to read. (And most likely the youngest — see above — won’t be a struggle, either.)
At present, I am starting on a re-reading spree (try saying that 3 times fast). You see, there was this thing called Christmas, and there were exchanges of presents, including money or gift cards to such wonderful places as Barnes & Noble, so there was a lot of online ordering recently. I took advantage of this situation to polish off my wish list (which had grown rather long — for me — and was slightly outdated due to the self-imposed book-buying ban of 2015, because, small child, equals less extra money).
Anyway, at the moment I’m re-reading Mort by Terry Pratchett (for probably the fourth time, realistically) — it’s one of my favorites of ever, because it’s just so well-written, with all the trademark wit, humor, and insight you’d expect from Sir Terry. (Wow, do I miss him…)
This could really be an entirely separate post, but here are just some of the many, many things I love about reading:
- Books can take you to a whole new world, a magical place or very real, but somewhere you can always visit again.
- Thanks to the invention of the printing press, we can enjoy books written by people far, far away from where we live. And we get to share our favorite reads with people who live far, far away from us.
- We get to make new friends by reading — either the fictional kind (i.e. the characters), or literally, by finding like-minded individuals on forums and blogs.
- Reading means sharing ideas, learning how to problem solve, understanding other viewpoints, getting to know different cultures, finding out cool facts (like the actual price of tea in China), and having more fun than should be permitted for a barrel of monkeys.
- We don’t have to own a passport to own a library card. We don’t have to be a millionaire to enjoy the latest releases. Thanks to translators, we can even read works that were originally published in languages foreign to our eyes and ears.
- Although I don’t engage in these practices myself, audiobooks and e-books are a big, happy deal to many readers, so I won’t knock it.
I truly hope we never live in a world without bookstores, or excited readers, publishing, and sharing new and old titles alike with each other. Happy World Book Day, everyone!