For majority of people, books are part of their everyday lives. Books have become almost inevitable to man. They are packed with a wealth of knowledge that is passed from one generation to the next. They show us pathways in our lives. Books can be said to be machines that allows us travel to all times. They can open doors that we didn’t know existed. They are like windows that lets us have a peek through them, into other worlds.
Books have been in existence for centuries, and they are one of the best ways of preserving history. Without books, knowledge about our ancestors, culture and civilization would be lost. I’m sure a lot of people would agree when I say reading is the perfect hobby. We get to expose ourselves to new information, we improve our memories and imaginations, and to top it all, we have while reading, in addition to all these other benefits. They say “the more you read, the more well-read you are”.
Now, contrary to some opinions, books help us simplify. Odd right? Books have a way of helping us clarify our concerns, thereby simplifying it in the process. When we are reading a story, it becomes simpler and somewhat easier to understand. The writer has to omit a large part of the actual event. We are able to follow important events in the plot without getting distracted by ‘side plots’ that may end up confusing us, or cause us to lose focus on the actual storyline. Imagine a story that has a plot of pregnancy. A book could summarise key events of that period of pregnancy up until childbirth in just a few pages, still keeping the intrigues and emotions intact. In real life, the experience is spread over months, with a lot of activities in between-doctor’s appointments, time spent watching television, family visits and so on. The summarised logic of a plot adjusts the chaos of everyday life. The plot of a book makes the links between important events in the story much more obvious to the reader.
Often, writers have to do a lot of explaining in their books. They help us shed more light on the reasons for the actions of a particular character. We are able to understand the minds and motives of the characters. The writer makes it easier for us to get in touch with our emotions. We find that we either love a character, or hate them, we either pity them or condemn them. Our emotions are more defined than they are with people we encounter in life.
Books and creative write ups help us correct our natural state of being. More often than not, we’re at a loss of words to describe what we feel. A lot of things we see everyday impresses us, like the view of the sunset, the sight of trees and birds and so on. However, we find it difficult to verbalise what we feel. We just say something like “it is beautiful”, even when the adjective used doesn’t begin to qualify whatever the subject may be. Writers help us simplify things by helping us express that feeling that seems too complex to explain. Simplification, in this sense, doesn’t make us ignore or forget the nuance of life, no. Rather, it makes them more visible.
Books help us get in touch with our feelings. Most times, we’re too scared to actually feel. The fear of being hurt if we love too much, the fear of being taken for granted when we’re too nice, and so on. These fears tend to freeze our emotions. However, in the plot of a story, we may come across someone, perhaps someone who expresses these feelings we’re so scared to show. We are able to relate completely and our ’emotional muscles’ are exercised. We actually become more sensitive.
Books help us become better versions of ourselves, it helps us discover part of ourselves, that we didn’t even know existed. We find that by reading, we become a little better at being us.
Books mean knowledge, and knowledge is power.