Wednesday 26 February 2014

Todays guest blog comes from Jim King who runs the Thoughts from the Darkness website here:

The pictures are of Bristol Central Library book hive, BCL are celebrating "bringing books to life"

Why do I read books?

Many generations ago men began to do something new. They recorded their words so that others could read them.

From the very first Pictographs in caves, celebrating life or a hunt, through lines on the edges of a stone to picture symbols in hieroglyphs and the first writings on animal skins

In the 1450s a book was printed using movable type and the work of one Johannes Gutenberg, this marked the start of the spread of ideas and knowledge through the availability of printed works and nothing has been the same since.

Rather than relying on word of mouth or the memory of someone who was there, a person’s words, speeches and teachings could be spread far and wide exactly as they were first spoken.

This created a way that not just a person’s words could be spread, but also their thoughts and ideas.

Over the years technology improved and books moved from being something only the rich could afford to something that everyone could own though it took hundreds of years before books became cheap enough for mass ownership.


Today we have physical and digital publications; entire libraries can be stored and put in your pocket. A book reader or tablet can hold hundreds of books available at the touch of a button.

You can go on holiday or just on the daily bus or train trip with an entire library to choose from as entertainment or as education.


With a book you can enter someone else’s imagination, you can read their thoughts, desires and ideals, they can put into print their ideas and they can bring their imagination to others.

An Author can, by writing a book, let you into their mind and wander around, the author records their dreams and their thoughts and grants you the ability to know them.

You can spend years getting to know someone and still not know them as deeply as you can if they put themselves into a book.


I read Fiction, Fantasy and Science Fiction for enjoyment, a book, a novel or even a comic allows me to enter the authors world and to walk through their imagination. A picture may be worth a thousand words but those words are of a single fixed point whereas a book can take you through a beginning, middle and an end and leave room for a sequel or three.

I read on a tablet or on a pc just to read but for me there is more to it than just the sight of the letters on a page.

Late in the evening when I want to relax with a book I want to feel the weight of the book in my hands, to smell the faint dusty odour of an old book or the just printed ink smell of a new one. I want to feel the texture of paper or card stock or leather.

The smooth glossy cover, the worn edges of a much read novel or the warmth that seems to come from holding one of my antiques.

To me these are all part of truly reading a book. Not just the story, not just the words or the thoughts the pages hold.

I read books in all their many forms, but to me a physical book is like an old friend. Something I know well, something that will always be there when I want it, something reliable.

A story is a story but put that story in a book, take the thoughts and dreams and words of an author and give them physical form. Then you create something worth reading.

To quote a saying:

I read books not because I have no life but because I choose to have many.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog