Since the invention of book-press by Johannes Gutenberg in years 1452 – 1454, we are surrounded by books. Those black letters on white paper have became our main storage of knowledge, medium of how to teach our children of our skills and pass them our experience, how to share everything we learned until now with the mankind. Starting in the pre-school and schools we are trained to decipher the shapes of an ink and we are learned to reproduce them to our liking. Not everyone enjoys them, though...
For last couple of decades, people are reading less and less. Newspapers, magazines, books and even handwritten letters are close to extinction. Most of the reading-able population prefer watching TV news at the evening with popcorn nearby more then having a nice breakfast with coffee and reading morning news brought by some guy, most of the teenagers prefers watching the movie or series adaptation of the book before reading the actual novel. Do we like aimlessly surfing through the Internet and camping alone on the social networks awaiting news about the newest information about current reality show more? Why don't we read then? Should we read? HELL YEAH!!
Tomie dePaola (I have no idea, who he is), once said: „Reading is important because if you can read you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything.“ I can't agree more with his quote. Through reading you can learn about general facts and knowledge. Out there, you can find a whole new world of interesting stuff. No knowledge is bad, any knowledge is worthy.
With the knowledge vocabulary comes along. The more books or articles you read, the less grammar mistakes will be found in your texts and the more precise your expressions will become. I got that from my own experience. The more books are on my shelfs, the better my own story is.
Another advantage or reading might be the training in our creativity and imagination. Sure, you may say, that you go to comparable adventures when watching a movie, but that's far from truth. While you are watching a great series, you are given someone else's image of the book. You are passive receiver and you are hardly thinking. If you are reading a book, a story, you make your own picture of the situation or the characters. You are forced to think and to loose the touch with the reality, freeing yourself from all your daily routine and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, reality is quite different. Therefore, there are various attempts to learn people to make a habit of reading books again.
In USA, for example, an event called National Reading Day has been created. This event, which was celebrated on 23th January this year, was created to celebrate and encourage reading for younger children. hat day, schools receives children books for free and then, they are read to children.
National Education Association (NEA) established also an event called Read Across America Day. It is celebrated on 2nd March, the birthday of a writer Theodor Seuss Geisel, known also as Dr. Seuss. He published 46 children books, including The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.
Another example might be Germany. Similarly to USA, they also celebrate a national reading day called Bundesweiter Vorlesetag, but it's celebrated in November. This event was established in year 2004 by activists working for DIE ZEIT, german magazine. Except of reading book in schools and libraries, they made a speciality this year – a train. This train, „Vorlesezug“, was decored for kids and will go from Berlin to Hamburg (300km distance) and during the travel, kids will read books.
They also have a „Der Tag des (freien) Buches“ - Day of the (free) Books. On 10th May in year 1947 they decided to start a memorial for burning books in year 1933 and later it was re-named to Day of the Free Books.
Also, Czechs and Slovaks have made March their month of a book. In year 1955 was a month March dedicated to books in honor of Matej Hrebenda, who traveled across these two states and sold books, even though he alone was blind. During this month, children in pre-elementary school and elementary schools visit the library where they are read children books.
In United Kingdom, they celebrate the World Book Day. UNESCO designed a worldwide celebration of books and reading. On 1st March are then read book in schools. To encourage UK and Ireland pupils, they are given Book Tokens, which can be exchanged for books and schools receive age-ranged World Book Day Resource Packs, which includes activities for children, display material and more information about how to get involved in World Book Day.
Have you finally decided to read a book? Still not?
Thanks to the technology and the age we are living in, we can have almost any book we wish. Booksellers are able to send their products around the world, posts and similar services can deliver them. What's more, there are e-books. Even more easier way to get a book. Just order one and you will get electronic version of the original. Unfortunately, in this version, it is less likely to find illustrations, you will be bound to electricity and you will never found out, how thick the book is. I, personally, prefer paper version, even though they are more expensive then their electronic twins, but the experience of reading is incomparable. Feeling and smell of the paper has it's own charm.
Hopefully, I've made enough argument to show you, that books are still important for us, and to encourage you to read at least one book this year. Does not matter if it's Hemingway, Tolkien, Pilcher or Dan Brown...