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That is the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feetJhumpa Lahiri
Oprah Winfrey says books were my pass to personal freedom. Many of us have special memories of the books that have inspired us and transported us to new worlds, andtake us back to the important moments in our own lives. Reading books is one of the ways to look after your mind and body. Reading books enable one to build vocabulary, reduce stress, preventing age-related cognitive decline. Books would remain our best friends, guiders, and philosophers.
In 1995, UNESCO took steps to observe April 23 as World Book and Copyright Day. It is also known as International Day of the Book. It was selected as a mark of paying tribute to the great literary figures. The day marked the death and birth anniversary of many other prominent authors. On this date in 1616, Shakespeare breathed last. Through observation of this day, UNESCO aims to promote the importance of reading. Every year, UNESCO select the World Book Capital for a year, and in the year 2021, it is Tbilisi, the capital city of Georgia. #Bookface challenge is part of this year’s celebrations. Books are important, and more important is to ensure the culture of reading. Remind and respect the irreplaceable contributions books had in our lives. Also, to acknowledge the contributions of writers, publishers, who recorded the social and cultural progress of the societies.
The history of printing dates back to 3500 BC. It is believed that printing patterns on silk originated in China around 200 AD and was transferred to paper by the 7th century. The invention of the printing press by Johann Fust, Peter Schoffer and Johannes Gutenberg around 1440 marked the rapid expansion of books. India has a long tradition of writing. Talapatra: The act of writing(Tala) on dried leaves (Patra). One of the many reasons attributed to the Indian language scripts are curly is the early medium of writing on Patras. Palm leaves were used as writing materials in India and dating back to the 5th century BC and possibly much earlier. One of the oldest surviving palm leaf manuscripts is a treatise “Sanskrit Shaivism” from the 9th century. Discovered in Nepal and now preserved at the Cambridge University Library.
When one talks about books and writing, one needs to relate to Intellectual property (IP). Wikipedia refers to it as a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. The types are copyrights, patents and trademarks. The modern concept of intellectual property developed in England in the 17-18th centuries with the term “intellectual property” started being used in the 19th century, became commonplace in the worlds legal systems by the late 20th century.
Audio Books (the spoken book) created in the 1930s provided the visually impaired people with a medium to enjoy books. The first recordings of spoken books were through vinyl records. It made the transition to cassette tapes, compact discs, and now Internet-enabled audiobooks. Although electronic books had limited success in the early years, technological advances led to e-reader devices (like Kindle) made access and reading easier. The number of available titles in this format has increased. The popularity and ease of access on a mobile phone make one wonder whether is it the end of books in print form?
Is not it difficult to predict the future of the book in print form in an era of fast-paced technological change. Communication in the form of the book is continuously threatened by competing media such as radio, television, and the Internet. Books in print form has proven to be very resilient and adaptable.
The habit of reading dwindling, concentration spans reducing as we progress in time, restriction in the number of letters one can use on social media handles like “Twitter” making people invent newer abbreviated forms of writing, one cannot stop wondering whether writing would remain only in the pages of history. Hope not!
As Ernest Hemingway said, ”There is no friend as loyal as a book”.