The Beauty of Books

This was originally just a throwaway ramble. Something to fill the void of silence that has passed me by. Nothing more than an extension of one of those half-thought-out quandaries that can surface at 4 am or during an alcohol-induced floor chat with someone who is insane as you are. (I assume they’re insane because they’re friends with me and in all honesty, if they weren’t just a bit strange they would have killed me by now.) I find that the aforementioned floor-chats can get surprisingly philosophical and insightful. Given the right company of course. But I found myself dwelling on the nature and purpose of books. where they came from. how they developed. Their diversity. The wonder they can hold. They can also be hundreds of beautifully laid out pages that amount to utter bollocks.

This is the part where I originally went off on a tangent about the evolution of humanity, language and why stories and sharing information may have come about. I may yet still do an entry on such things. Science is, after all, like having a mildly abusive friendship I can’t/won’t get out of. I believe hieroglyphics, extinct beasts from the ice age and the Earth’s orbital patterns was mentioned, as well as the marvel of human ingenuity and imagination that was the catalyst for the creation of books. Spreading information in the form of religious texts, which incidentally was the start of science, became a status symbol. To have the education to read and write was a mark of wealth and power. It is now used as a mark of intelligence. “You must do this thing and read these things! Or you will be branded an idiot with the IQ of concussed Gibbon.” Sometimes that is all the explanation we ever receive as children. What we read and write is also used as a method to judge intelligence, someone who reads Shakespeare or astrophysics will instantly be deemed more intelligent than someone who reads comics, regardless of what else they are accomplished in. This part we learn as we get older and some give up reading altogether as soon as they leave school. It has been the bane of their existence for the entirety of their lives. The simplest fact that this book or this bundle of papers can give the power to spot when an adult, of all things, knows fuck all is never really highlighted when you are a child. Reading that pretty looking thing with shiny letters can induce a mild form of schizophrenia as it takes you to an imagined world, with people you’ve never met and don’t exit. As for that book over there, well that can tell you about actual schizophrenia and tell you how the analogy I made was bullshit. Reading is very rarely taught as a pleasure there was a schism between what my brother showed me about reading (Que a certain

The simplest fact that this book or this bundle of papers can give the power to spot when an adult, of all things, knows fuck all is never really highlighted when you are a child. Reading that pretty looking thing with shiny letters can induce a mild form of schizophrenia as it takes you to an imagined world, with people you’ve never met and don’t exit. As for that book over there, well that can tell you about actual schizophrenia and tell you how the analogy I made was bullshit. Reading is very rarely taught as a pleasure there was a schism between what my brother showed me about reading (Que a certain Mr. Pratchett) and what school did.

Besides the books in our school reading section were boring, and were never worth my time. I remember reading three or four within one reading hour once, they were all horrendously dull and I didn’t want to read any more of them. Next reading hour I brought my own book. The teacher did not approve. I did not care. The teacher won the argument because I was a child and my opinion on what I found interesting to read did not matter.

Thankfully this particular torture ended when Junior school did at the age of eleven, but the damage for many had been done by that time. To my shame, it took me a long time to get back into reading and if weren’t for newly released books of a certain wizard and my discovery of some massive encyclopedias I may not have found my love for reading. No matter how predisposed I was to do so.

For those who have an insatiable curiosity or parents with a healthy liking of books, they soon discover that they are more than just another thing to be tested on. You never entirely escape judgment. People with always deem some book more intelligent or worthy of more merit than others, but no matter what age you are books are yours to enjoy. If you are able to read it then chances are you are able to understand it. It doesn’t matter whether your favourite book is from Shakespeare, a graphic novel or an encyclopedia. Books are there to broaden your own knowledge and experience, they are there for enjoyment and for the passage of knowledge. They are bonkers. They make you see things inside your head. Tilt your perspective of the world, just a fraction. That is why I think they are things of beauty. And if you are a child do not let anyone dictate what you should enjoy, not all teachers are like my old one and sometimes it’s the school that makes the books an incarnation of stress, evil and general brain rotting boredom. Books are one of the first things you can take responsibility for. They don’t have the age restrictions of films or legal ramifications if you try and leave home at the age 7. In a world filled with rules and regulations the one thing that we should be allowed to do as children is read what we like. (Human rights and running themselves into mischief like lemmings aside. they just go without saying if I’m honest.)

 

Ramble over. Probably still overly rambly. I suggest you go read something with more… coherency… and substance…. And better grammar. Have a great day. And have a great life.

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