Myriad sheets of paper, with sketches and scribbles in a rhythmic sense, plastered together are held safely in the hands of its bearer. You would find them everywhere: casually standing on shelves while it overlooks the world walking by, dozing off on the table beside a hot mug of coffee, cuddling on the lap of a person while it warms itself up. In it are secrets of the world, virtues being born and questioned, imagination spurting up as dragons; Books hold a position of one of the most valuable inventions of our times.
To promote and encourage books and reading, 23rd April is celebrated as International Book Day worldwide which calls upon to the idea of making books and reading a necessity of daily life rather than a leisure activity. Before Gutenberg invented printing press, books were born by tirelessly writing on parchment, wax, papyrus and other materials.With printing press taking action, availability of books and the knowledge it holds became more accessible to the world. If it was not for printing press, your favorite book might not have ever reached your hand. Scary, isn’t it?
When a book is held, it doesn’t bother with a person’s socio-economic status, gender, orientation, beliefs. What it all hopes is to be understood, read with well intentions and also, no doggy marks on its soft paper. Would we have known sun-kissed poetry of Tagore, magic battles of J.K. Rowling, and for those who do like studies, mathematical equations of R.D. Sharma if there were no books? Libraries that survived wars taught us about how our civilization was, and our present scriptures would aid the knowledge of those yet to come. Be it fictional or non-fictional, paperback or kindle, a weapon of choice or forced upon (studies, duh), books are one massive available source of knowledge and yet so under-appreciated.
Every avid reader religiously believes that a person who doesn’t read just hasn’t found a book meant for them. Books do not ask you to diet. They do not ask you to do the 30th crunch which makes you regret that one slice of cake you had earlier. And they definitely do not sarcastically ask you “beta, kitne bajey ayega ghar?” So relationship with books is basically a healthy one and totally worth it. Need an ice-breaker in the party? Talk about the book. Need to become a better writer? Read a book. Need to smack your annoying sibling on their head but without any concussion? Hit their head with a book!
So if you are someone who has yet to come across their first, ask your friends, join book forums or clubs in your city, and if you are an extrovert eagle, spot a bookworm (features include sniffing of books, holding a book, not letting go of the book in battle), walk towards them and ask for good references.
Happy International Book Day!
*No books were harmed in making of this article.