Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Save the bookstores day on June 25, 2011
Don't get me wrong. I love the internet, and I appreciate and enjoy all the possibilities and opportunities it offers. My connection with the internet, however, does not abate my love for books.
My fascination for them may have begun very early in my childhood, when my parents made me become a member of the local library. And when that love for books is born so early, it is bound to blossom and continue growing for ever. I get surprised when I hear or read comments about the "possibility of books disappearing."
I don't believe that books will cease to exist just because it is easier and/or cheaper to get them online. There is a unique magic sensation in the act of losing myself in a bookstore for hours, browsing them to come across something I don't expect expect I'd find, fingering the pages, dealing with the unpredictable.
The feeling of touching a book and carrying it anywhere is also unique. Reading a book in bed is not the same as reading it from a computer. How can I not relish the experience of reading without the need of battery or electricity?
The charm that books can provide is always special, whether it happens in the woods, on a rock by the sea or in a library setting.
I know I have passed on this fascination to my daughter. She is two years old now, but I've read to her since she was born, and she already shares my passion.
I agree with Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for literature 2010, when he said:
"I cannot accept the idea that a nonfunctional or nonpragmatic act of reading, one that seeks neither information nor a useful and immediate communication, can integrate on a computer screen the dreams and the pleasures of words with the same sensation of intimacy, the same mental concentration and spiritual isolation, that may be achieved by the act of reading a book." These words were extracted from The Best American Essays, 2002 (Why literature?, by Mario Vargas Llosa). I must confess that I found this chapter a month ago in an old bookstore, when I was visiting the city of La Crosse, Wisconsin. I fell in love with his essay and ended up buying the book.
If you are a book lover, join the celebration on Saturday, June 25, 2011, by buying one book (or four) from your local bookstore. Feel free to find out more information about this viral event by googling it. And, of course, have fun with it!