As a writer, it was really only a matter of time until I reached this particular wonder: Books.
Books are the ultimate gateways to imaginative worlds, to mythologies, to knowledge, to language, to the continued growth and education of the whole human race.
“You cannot open a book without learning something.” – Confucius
Before the advent of the book, there were stone tablets, codices and scrolls to communicate information. Later the advent of movable print made it easier to mass produce what came to be called books. In modern times, of course, books are being supplanted by the internet, e readers and other non-print media. But a book, whether in physical paper form or on your Kindle, Nook or iPad, is still a book.
Books have been written containing things both true and false, containing information and entertainment, comedy and tragedy. Books stretch across every imaginable aspect of the human condition, and can educate, inform, entertain, annoy and delight everyone in some way or other.
Books offer a form of communication that is the ultimate path to realms of imagination. Books can convey information about every known topic, and offer words and pictures and color and context. It is in books that I have spent many an hour exploring and developing my imagination, learning new information, and gaining greater knowledge and experience.
Certainly there are things better learned through doing than reading, but books are the best place to place knowledge. I know that while the internet is at our fingertips, there is something about having the physical book to leaf through that adds a whole other layer to the experience.
As much as I can glean information online, there is nothing quite like going into a bookstore and exploring the volumes there. As I do so, I imagine coming across the spine of a book featuring my name, one of my worlds, and that sense of excitement at being a part of something far greater than myself.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway.
As a child with a curious mind and extremely active imagination, losing myself in books helped to shape me into the man I am today. I think it was through books that I learned to be delighted in learning, through books that I began to form the molds to create my own imaginary worlds, and books would be my closest companions.
As a writer, I sometimes neglect the energy I should give to reading. I still need, besides my own stories, to pick up the books of others, for both pleasure and knowledge, to expand my own experience. Reading books provides a much needed escape. I especially enjoy taking the text outdoors, finding a space beneath a tree or in a comfortable chair, with no distractions.
Even with e readers and tablets and other portable devices becoming more prevalent and inexpensive, the physical book will remain an important and constant wonder of our wondrous world. But no matter what form you prefer, no matter what information you are seeking to digest, books can provide us with both uncountable answers and even more questions.
Books. An expansive wonder of a wondrous world!
What books are you reading?
Check out my blog, The Ramblings of a Titanium Don, for more of my work.
And while we’re on the subject of books – you can ALSO check out my fantasy short story A Treacherous Stone in the anthology Rum and Runestones, and my steampunk short story The Vapor Rogues in the anthology Spells and Swashbucklers.