Millennium Post

Joys of book reading

Joys of book reading
The World Book Day quietly comes and goes just like any other day. It is meant, of course, to be a reminder that books have been an integral part of our lives since we were young. They were, indeed, part of our childhood. Those were wonderful days lost in the worlds created by children's writers, wrapped round in wonders, and life that was not as we knew it. The book in its traditional form is alive and well. E-books, that are also books, have not managed to eradicate the paper book. It is not a replacement for the traditional book, but an add-on, possibly getting people who have not been avid readers to read more and helping bookworms get a higher dosage of their daily fix. No electronic paper can ever replace the rough feel of the yellowing pages of an old book nor can it replace its utility and warmth. Contrary to perceptions, researchers are even finding that the story is slowly going full circle. Children are falling in love all over again with printed books, finding in them an escape from the electronic dominance in their young lives. The coming of the book, so many centuries ago, changed the insular lives of individuals into ones that became aware of the thoughts and ideas of others.
For many centuries it was the repository of all the wisdom of humanity and the library became the sanctum of knowledge, the sacred space for the scholar to thrive and the reader to imbibe of life outside life. It is little wonder that book burning, as in Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" became the sign of the tyrant despot who wanted to control minds. It is even less of a wonder that all those who want to impose their own opinions, politics, and dogmas on others are afraid of books that might give a clear idea of the other hand. The autocrat would always tell others what not to read. The freedom to read without censorship is another indicator of a democratic society. The hundreds of books published each year indicate a readership that thrives and can be cultivated. Unfortunately, our attention is also drawn to the fact that our minuscule market cannot but leave many battles in the way of our publishers. They try and prosper in spite of the circumstances and who must, therefore, be helped at every turn, if we are not to lose the advantage we have gained through such hard work by so many.
Hopefully, the celebration of books also helps those among us who have strayed away from the beauty that can be afforded by reading, to pick up a book and relive times when our reality is, perhaps, dimmed for a while.
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