My favourite thing about books and reading would definitely be the community they create. There are few things I love more than chatting with friends about books we’ve read, what ones we should, what ones we’ve liked and what one’s we haven’t. Even if you know nothing about a person, if you’ve read the same book or love the same author, you suddenly have so much in common. Reading the book yourself is one part of the experience, but sharing your thoughts with others and hearing theirs is even more special in my opinion!
One thing that fascinates me about the world of books and reading is the ability for books to simultaneously connect us with past generations and speak to future ones. I love how books are a window into the past and a window into the lives that people have lived before us. At the same time, however, I love that the act of writing books is a way to capture our own lives and the world we are experiencing now, which future generations of readers and scholars may study well into the future. I’m also very fascinated by the idea of how books change over time—how they are reedited, republished and translated. Who were they altered by? Why were additions or redactions made? I love how studying even the smallest of grammatical edits in a book’s journey can help us understand more about the ways that society and culture was changing and evolving.
I really love the creativity of everything. Getting immersed in made up worlds and storylines is such an ethereal experience and I wouldn't give it up to save the world.
I love books because they have always offered an escape. They’ve been a source of solace, joy, adventure, excitement, wonder… every emotion under the sun. There’s something uniquely captivating about reading and getting lost in the worlds that spring forth from the pages. Books, I have found, are often like people. They stick with us, leave an impression, and often remind us of specific places and times in our lives. Some become old friends we revisit time and again, others come and go, a brief encounter, fleeting but beautiful. Some are big and loud and leave an impression while others are subtle, their wisdom creeping up on us over time.
Books also allow us the opportunity to empathise with others and reflect on ourselves. They are entire microcosms of human experiences. When we read (and read widely) we are exposed to different points of view, ways of life, cultures, understandings, thoughts and opinions.
Potentially most importantly, books are also sources of hope and inspiration – they make us dream. When we read, we create and imagine and think about what could be – what we could be – and that is, I think, one of the most wonderful things there is. It’s simple, and slightly cliché, but wonderous none the less.
The great thing about the bookish community is it’s genuinely welcoming and wholesome. You get a bunch of book nerds in a room together – like at writers festivals and events – and all they’re going to do is talk about everything they love about their favourite books. And everyone connects and relates and brings their own experiences to different books, and then they bring all of that to their various bookish communities which are then all the richer and better for it.
When people meet in these bookish communities, they come together with this shared knowledge and language and use it to relate to and understand one another while also highlighting what is unique and allowing space for growth and the understanding of others.