I have a confession to make…I have loved books all of my life. Now, there it is, off my chest. I feel much better now. Of course no confession would be complete without answering one key question: “Why?”
Well there are 5 things about books that made me fall in love with them and for that love affair to have lasted almost half a century and here they are-
1. Escape from Reality
In an age when TV is obsessed with ‘reality’ and Twitter and Facebook record every detail of the mundane nature of most people’s lives, the huge vista that novels open up to us is infinite and infinitely enjoyable. A good book can transport you back or forward in time, to any part of this world and any number of other worlds, or even inside the mind of another person. It can make you laugh and cry almost at the same time and within a paragraph or a page can make you check under the bed or sleep with the lights on.
Before we (mostly) placed our faith in Wikipedia we revered almanacs and encyclopaedias. Ever since Guttenberg printed the Holy Bible and books could be mass produced we have turned to them to learn everything from who to what, from where to when and even more importantly to discover why. I’ll be the first to admit having access to the internet has changed how much information we seek and find but if we’re honest we still more readily believe information sourced between the covers of a book.
Our GUC (Grown Up Child #6) used to join the Ban Chéile* and me in Borders Bookstore in Dublin every Sunday morning until the emergence of Amazon and the dip in the economy led to its closure a couple of years ago. That tradition was an extension of an old habit I’ve never been able to kick. I love browsing through the stacks in real bookshops and have done since I was knee high to a bookworm. Simply soaking up the atmosphere and sharing space with other bibliophiles feels a little bit like being at home.
4. Books are sexy…….well sensual at least.
Have you ever got your hands on an old book and taken a long deep breath? The smell of an old book is just as appealing as the clean aroma of a newly printed edition. Add that to the feeling of turning the pages and holding the covers while you absorb every word of a thriller or feast your eyes on amazing pictures or illustrations. Pure sensuality.
5. Books provided the original social network.
Sharing a good book is like passing on the Olympic torch. You read it, admire and enjoy it and then as with all things you deem to be enjoyable you want to share it with people you like or love. Sharing opens up conversations and comparisons. It makes the story even a little bit more real and a little more memorable.
There you go! My 5 reasons for why I love books. Now it’s your turn. How about telling me about 5 things you like about something?
* Ban-Cheile means Wife/Spouse/Life Partner in the Irish Language. A literal translation would be “woman I’m together with” or thereabouts.