Thursday 1 March 2012
World Book Day!
According to Huffington Post Books (@HuffPostBooks) on Twitter, though, it's apparently only World Book Day in the UK: the real one (actually worldwide) is on 23rd April, or, to those in the know, Shakespeare's Birthday (also Saint George's Day, but, you know, what has he done for us lately?) Anyway, since I am a UK resident, I guess it's ok for me to talk about 'World' Book Day anyway, but this fact is one that strikes me as seriously odd- are we so contrary and irritating that we need to have our own Book Day that we pretend is the world's too? Apparently, yes, and clearly my patriotism still knows no bounds...
So, books. They're bloody great, aren't they? I mean, I realise that basically my entire audience is comprised of people who have their own book blogs and so pretty much live inside a world of book orgies and whatnot (I'll just pause to let you have that image for a minute) and so nobody's exactly going to say 'but reading is soooo boring, let's just watch TV', but books. They do rock. I have no idea what I'd do without them (basically all of my time would be spent staring at walls if you took books out of the picture) and that goes triple for the times when I really need them- on the rough days, which have been coming in large frequencies of late, mostly all that will do is a comforting book and a warm bed. Hiding from the real world, maybe; but retaining some sense of normality and sanity at the same time? Fair trade, I think.
But that's not all that books are. What they really are, as I think we all know, are magic. Just 26 different letters, making up masses of words that combine to make a story, but after a while it's not just you reading words- it's an entire world that comes alive in your head, and the things that happen in this world can make you laugh, cry, feel scared, anxious, heartbroken, joyous, intrigued or amused. Most of all, they transport you, take you away, and yet even when they're done they stay with you- you can carry them round and think about all the things you've learned from them, and all the things they've made you feel.
Most of all, they make you feel that most elusive of things: Not alone. This isn't something that all books do for all people, but when you find one where the characters' views and thoughts and feelings seem to echo yours completely, you feel almost that the author has been looking inside your soul and just reporting what she or he finds there. The books that make me feel this, like I'm not just a lonely and outcast traveller, are the ones that I cherish, and will continue to cherish forever.
To summarise: Books- they're the thing. Go and read one, and allow yourself to be transported to magical lands, and that most magical land of all- your own imagination.