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 new and fantastical worlds, or back in time in history. They offer escapism and can make you feel many emotions at once. They are a never-ending source of education. They carry memories from the past, seeing an old book will always transport you back to the time in your life that you read it. In short, books are magical. So spend today getting lost in a book!
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 years, books were large and bound with expensive leather, so 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 on 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 being published and distributed, not only making them 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, 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, and of course, the trusty old paperback, as nothing can substitute the feel and smell of book pages when reading a novel.
Why Reading is Important
Reading is obviously important because it helps us develop language and thinking skills and it also broadens 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 empathic.
Reading also helps in improving our focus and concentration abilities, as well as being 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 lover in your life with a brand new novel that you think they'll love?