From clay tablets in the third millennium B.C. to e-books in the second millennium A.D., books have played a crucial role in preserving cultures, educating the masses, and entertaining us for thousands and thousands of years. If you have ever read a book, you have Johannes Gutenberg to thank—with the invention of the printing press in 1440 (just 52 years before Columbus' infamous voyage!), books became widely accessible to the public. In honor of National Book Lovers Day on Aug. 9, we put away our smartphones, pull out a good book, and simply... read.
Why We Love National Book Lovers Day
1. Books Connect Us with the Universe
American novelist James Baldwin said it best: “You think your pain and heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” Books help us understand each other, feel less alone, and put our complex emotions into words.
2. Books Let Us Escape the Limits of Time and Space
Books are powerful. They’re the only medium that can transport us through time and space—into the past, the present, the future, and faraway worlds galaxies away. And we don’t even have to leave our couch or change out of our pajamas!
3. The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie
Can you think of any movie that does its book equivalent justice? We didn’t think so. Movie scripts often simplify the subtle complexities of the book, and sadly, in many cases the original author has no say in the moviemaking process. Go to the movies? No, thanks. We’d rather read a book!
How to Celebrate National Book Lovers Day
1. Visit Your Local Library
Public libraries have been around since the Middle Ages. But back in those days, books were often chained to the bookcases to prevent theft. On National Book Lovers Day, reconnect with the past by browsing the shelves at your local library. Bonus points if you pick a book off the shelf, find a cozy nook, and read it right there at the library.
2. Make As Many Literary References As Possible
National Book Lovers Day is a day of great expectations—are you up to the challenge? It’s not a quixotic task to make as many literary references as possible. If you manage to reference at least 10 books, you deserve a red badge of courage.
3. Participate in a Book Exchange
What better way to celebrate National Book Lovers Day than by trading an old favorite with a friend in exchange for something new? Better yet, get a few friends together for a group book exchange. Before handing off your book, share a few words about what that book means to you.