August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, a day for those who can't live without books and reading.
People love books because of their immense potential. They can transport you to a new world of fantasy, or time travel back in history. They are a way to escape the problems and burdens of your life and get lost in a pool of emotions.
Books are a never-ending source of education. They carry memories from the past as seeing an old book will always transport you back to the time in your life when you read it. In short, books are magical. So spend today getting lost in a book!
National Book Lovers Day Background
No one really knows how or when National Book Lovers became a part of the calendar, but people have been carrying books with them for centuries. Books were invented to substitute the heavy stones where texts and drawings were originally carved, as many people would struggle to carry them. The first books were made of parchment or calfskin and had a cover made of wood that was wrapped in leather.
In earlier days, books were large and bound with expensive leather. Thus, only wealthy people could afford to own them. The only book that most people owned at the time was the bible.
It was with the Industrial Revolution in the first half of the nineteenth century, and the wide availability of printing presses, pulp paper mills, and mechanical typesetting, that cheap paperback books began to be published and distributed. Thus, it was not only affordable for the masses but also something that was easy to carry.
Books, now available to all classes, saw a huge rise in popularity as it was a great distraction and form of entertainment. Popular American authors at the time included Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allen Poe, among many others.
Today, book lovers can rejoice at a wide variety of genres, authors, and books from different time periods. There are thrillers, romances, non-fiction, and graphic novels... Something for every taste! And best of all, books are now accessible for everyone on computers, smartphones, tablets, and Kindles. However, these cannot replace the trusty old paperback and the feel and smell of book pages when reading a novel.
Importance of Reading
Reading is obviously important because it helps us develop language and thinking skills and also helps broaden our knowledge. However, there are many other benefits to picking up a book.
For one, books can help reduce stress, as they offer comfort and a place to escape to if you're feeling down.
They also help us understand other people better, making us feel less alone and studies have shown that this causes us to be more empathetic.
Reading also helps in improving our focus and concentration abilities. It is a great tool to enhance memory, as books force you to remember information from the narrative you are focusing on.
What to do on National Book Lovers Day
If you are an avid reader, then this day is the perfect excuse to sit down and get lost in a new book or an old favorite. It's also the perfect time to rearrange your bookshelves if you've been meaning to do that for a while.
If reading is not your thing, why not gift a special book to a lover in your life with a brand new novel that you think they'll love?
Books to add to your Reading List
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
Published in 1988, The Alchemist is a popular book that is loved by many. It tells the story of Santiago who travels far and wide in search of treasure in the Egyptian Pyramids. Along his journey, he learns many important lessons which might also resonate or relate with the readers. It is an inspiring tale that teaches you to follow your dreams no matter the hurdles you might encounter along the way.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
Published on February 1, 1999, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a favorite, especially among young adults. It traces the story of a fifteen-year boy Charlie who deals with mental health issues because of his friend who committed suicide. This coming-of-age story is filled with the adventures as well as issues of adolescent life. The book also has a movie adaptation with Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, and Ezra Miller in lead roles.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind- Yuval Noah Harari
Published in 2011, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a thought-provoking book that talks about the past or evolution of human beings, the present or modern world, and the future of humanity. An important quote from the book includes “We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons, to understand that our present situation is neither natural nor inevitable and that we consequently have many more possibilities before us than we imagine.”
The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
Set against the backdrop of the rich Afghan culture, The Kite Runner is primarily a story about the friendship between Amir, a rich businessman's son, and Hassan, Amir's father's servant's son. The timeline covers a period of tragedy and political upheaval during the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of the Taliban. The Kite Runner revolves around multiple themes such as friendship, love, betrayal, loyalty, and family.
The Diary of a Young Girl- Anne Frank
Anne Frank was a Jewish girl, who along with many others, lived secretively in an annex that was connected to the main house where her father, Otto Frank, ran his business. During her years of hiding, Anne wrote in her diary about this difficult period of the Holocaust. Her father, who was the only surviving member, later published her diary entries which came to be known as the Diary of a Young Girl.