Celebrating the World Book Day (the 3rd of March): A Precious World on the Page
Oscar Wilde wrote that there is "no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written." It makes me think of life, too...
...on the onset of our journey through life, it is all in our hands: neither moral, nor immoral yet - the journey just begins. Then, life scenarios can turn into well written or badly written scripts. In this way, books mirror the notion of life and reflect our biggest victories, joys and fears. Reading and reaching for books is highly valued all over the world and, as history shows, for centuries it has been an integral part of becoming a fully-fledged individual.
What is so alluring about books?
First of all, books offer peace of mind - and by "books" I don't mean only the act of reading itself, but also the activity of holding a book in one's hands and feeling that the world stopped for a moment. Holding a paper copy of a book allows one to calm down and reflect on the nature of things all around. It is a positively grounding experience in the modern, hectic world filled with new technologies, constant competitions and never-ending rush. While the modern culture tells us to simplify our daily tasks and be more efficient (whatever it means) or scroll even faster through websites, a book advocates the notion of quality: it encourages one to slow down and become a more conscious, artistic, creative, reflective, and thoughtful person. All of it comes with a price of not being time-efficient but, in exchange, one is left with the most gratifying experience - a peaceful, calming journey into a wonderful realm on the written page.
Secondly, books possess an unsurpassed ability to connect us. Orson Welles said that "we are born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create illusion for the moment that we are not alone." I would argue that books can serve as a rare medium which truly connects individuals and obliterates loneliness - even on the non-illusionary level. Since the day my novel "Bunky and the Walms" entered the literary world, I have been constantly connected with a marvellous community of Writers and Readers. Oftentimes, actually each month, I would buy a couple of books published by my Fellow Authors whom I regard as especially dear or important to me. When one encounters a Fellow Author, one immediately recognizes that a book will feature a part of the Author's heart and soul. What these valuable encounters have taught me is that each time I am reaching for my Fellow Authors' works, I am let into their hearts. Their works are the reflective images of their inner lives and mirror reflections of their souls. Writing makes one extraordinarily vulnerable and sharing a book with the world can be regarded as an act of bravery. Thus, reading brings me very close to my Fellow Authors and I feel that we share much more than our loneliness.
Thirdly, books awaken one's sensitivity and contribute to our inner growth not only as individuals, but also as humans. One also has to work hard in order to become a human, that is be an empathetic, kind and understanding creature - perhaps imperfect, yet always striving for the best - and books offer a wonderful spiritual food based on kindness, thoughtfullness, empathy, beauty, subtlety and wisdom. Reading involves certain elegance and thoughtfulness and invites beauty into our lives. Also, it invites imagination and, as I have argued in one of my previous posts, imagination is indispensable for our spiritual life.
In the Bible, we might read that Adam and Eve offered names to the species of plants and animals. Offering names, naming, turning thoughts into written sentences has been always regarded in literature as a powerful act. Believe me or not, books are intensely powerful. The ability to structure our thoughts and turn them into written sentences not only impacts our perception of reality, but also advocates the creation of a better future and better world. Therefore, writing is an act of responsibility and reading is an act of creation. Writing and reading might be regarded as synonymous terms for re-defining and comprehending our reality. Importantly, what makes a book especially powerful is that every Reader's experience will differ. There might be one book - there might be the same book - but it won't be read in the same way - not only by numerous Readers, but also by the same person. A literary world creates infinity of meanings and understandings - the infinity which is so badly needed in our lives, so that we might call ourselves fully-fledged individuals.
Dear All, it is the World Book Week and I would like to wish you many brilliant encounters with the written word - may you travel from page to page with courage to dream and may you implement your dreams into your life (and here, I won't say into your "actual" life, since reading and dreaming is equally real and actual). Also, I would like to express my immense gratitude to the Outstanding Creator Awards Jury who gave my novel "Bunky and the Walms" a chance, offering it the "Best Quote" Outstanding Creator Award! I am so grateful and happy that my novel brings a smile to your faces and connects us beyond loneliness and any misunderstandings of this complicated world.
Dear Jury, thank you from my heart! The quotation from "Bunky and the Walms" selected by the Jury will be the one with which I would like to close this blog entry:
“...if you received everything you wanted in one day, what are you going to dream about for the rest of your life..."
With many best wishes,
Aleksandra, Bunky & the Bunky Princess
The 5th of March 2022