A Man’s Best Friend – Books

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~  Risha

Nothing reads content like a good book on a rainy day with a hot cup of tea. Books have provided solace and comfort to man since time immemorial. Within arms reach, books have been the best friend every man needs. As a matter of fact, reading is one of the best hobbies one can have. It not only gives the readers knowledge on a plethora of topics but also widens their imaginations.

Variation of Genres and Forms

There are endless options to choose from when it comes to what one wants to read. From thrillers to cookbooks, the variety of book genres have you always covered. Systematically speaking, book genres can be clean-cut into two types namely; fiction and non-fiction while having various other sub-genres such as children’s book, science fiction, classics, short story, coming-of-age, memoir, humour, travelogues under their belt as well. One can also come across the blending of genres which provides an entirely different feel to the experience of reading the story. As time passes, new book genres keep coming up giving readers a larger pool from which to choose their favourite book. 

There are many different types of book formats out of which mainly are paperbacks and hardcovers. Paperbacks (a.k.a. softcovers or softbacks) are essentially books with a paperboard cover with the pages glued together. In contrast, hardcover books have a heavier cover with buckram or cloth, and the pages are sewn together instead of being glued. Paperback editions are cheaper than hardcover editions, but with more price comes more shelf life as hardcover books are known to last longer than their paperback counterparts. Most books on their initial release are known to set sales for hardcover editions instead of paperback. One can also sigh a breath of relief over the stress of breaking the spine of their freshly purchased book with a hardcover edition. In addition, paperback formats have three types; they are mass market, trade, and B format.

A world of Literature and Books

In today’s world, we’re all connected through the internet. We’ve built a community of people who share the same interests or hobbies, and book communities are considered quite prominent among others. People share their opinions, hold discussions, give recommendations, and share reviews on books read weekly, monthly or in any other fashion. This creates a sense of belongingness as people from all across the world are brought together by their shared love for books and the internet. Apart from the communities, the world of books has a lot to unpack.

Literary awards are the fruit of a writer’s hard bore seed. Literary awards such as the Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize for letters, drama and music, John Newbery Medal, Edgar Awards and Nobel Prize for literature, etc. are among the most reputable ones. Most of us have come across or at least heard of the term ‘Best-selling Book’ as books with this title are known to have sold millions of copies all across the world. Books like The Lord of the Rings (1954), The Hobbit (1937) and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997) continue to be the best-selling books of all time, having sold over more than 100 million copies. There’s also a common trend of movie adaptations of books, and most of the best sellers have had their spot in the theatres. However, there’s a common belief that books are better than their adaptations. Few adaptations manage to meet the expectations of the audience or even exceed them and are widely accepted while many that can’t are forgotten and don’t age well.  

According to the Pan Macmillan, David Copperfield (Charles Dickens), Room (Emma Donoghue), and Call of the Wild (Jack London), etc. are amongst the legendary mentionable titles that were truly celebrated for their storytelling and artistic expression. Books and adaptations of Matilda (Roald Dahl), Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland (Lewis Caroll), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl), The Cat in the Hat (Dr Seuss), etc. are a few of the favourites amongst people of all age groups. Various projects such as Project Gutenberg (which provides access and archives cultural works and ‘encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks’ ), and National Digital Library (collects metadata from international and national libraries and maintains) are available to be accessed by the public to provide ebooks free of cost. 

Loving Books in between Technologies

With our lives being intertwined with technology, there is not only one way of enjoying your favourite books, i.e. traditional book reading, but many such as eReading and audiobooks. The largest platform for eReading is Amazon Kindle where users can browse, purchase, download, and read eBooks, newspapers, and other media all through one device. Audiobooks have also created quite a buzz amongst the reading community as it provides an entirely different encounter with the reading experience, as readers don’t even have to read at all in the first place. The stories are narrated so as the readers can enjoy and fit reading into their busy lives. All these technological gizmos and advancement while being accepted have also questioned the sanctity of traditional reading; a book in hand and a comfortable nook for one to settle in. How long before most of us abandon the tradition of wearing a book to its seams? Annotated with our thoughts and highlighted with the first thing we could grab. It’s a bane and a boon.

Importance of Reading Books

The importance of reading books is countless. It is a vital life skill that helps us in various aspects of life, like finding a job, pursuing education, learning soft skills or hard skills, and much more. It helps in developing the mind of an individual, as it gives them the power to intercept and formulate subjective opinions with the right and wrongs in mind. Research shows that reading can contribute against dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease as it keeps the gears in our brain running and boosts its performance significantly. Reading also makes one empathetic as one learns to sympathise with the ways of the protagonist in the story while simultaneously getting a picture of the antagonist and the preconceived notion around them. Reading is essential because it is the building blocks of our lives. It enhances and makes us challenge our imagination while making the most of it. By raising one’s curiosities, reading also develops an individual’s creative mind.

The Bottom Line

Re-reading some books provides us with a sense of nostalgia and teaches us about life and the sentimental values we attach to our surroundings with the passage of time. It teaches us what it is like to be a child and an adult, the good and the bad, the ups and downs we have to face and the milestones we achieve. There is a reason why they say the pen is mightier than the sword after all. Reading is the way we communicate regardless of our gender, religion, race, beliefs, etc. It brings us together as we celebrate the most beautiful invention by mankind; language.

Read more about: Books to engage during lockdown 

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The content writing domain consists of passionate and creative change-makers who are willing to create a difference in society through their writings and blogs. They write on a range of topics from India to the world and beyond. The team also helps in a range of write-ups and content required for the SKCF webpage and events.

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