Long Live Literature!

In the modern age of technology, it’s pretty easy to forget that the number one source of enjoyment and escapism has been with us since the dawn of mankind – storytelling.

Today is National Book Lovers Day, just one of what feels like hundreds in the calendar dedicated to reading, but is it any wonder when so many memories and stories have been created because of humanity’s desire to expand its horizons through literature. From accurate depictions of global events to an imagined dream world designed to lift the reader into another universe – books have the power to offer something that nothing else can.

I rarely have a day where I’m not carrying a book around with me and, if I’m not, it’s probably the Kindle. I make sure I take advantage of lunch breaks and train journeys by consuming the latest piece of fiction I find at my fingertips. But in recent months I’ve also learnt so much about the Battle of the Somme from the diaries of my partner’s Great-Grandfather. This is the beauty of books – I can find escapism in another world one day before bringing bring myself back to reality the next with the thoughts of a simple soldier experiencing one of the low points in human history. We are all knowledge hungry and I believe books remain the best way to satisfy that hunger.

I read from time to time that books, in the traditional form, are dying out but is that really the case? Public libraries have appeared since the Middle Ages and even now, despite the technology at our disposal, I still prefer reading from the pages of a book than swiping from chapter to chapter on the Kindle. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy using the Kindle but there is something about buying a new book from the shop isn’t there?

Pokémon Go is currently the phenomenon invading the digital age and it’s clear that, whilst it’s fun, it will only really have a limited life-span. Books however? There will probably be books depicting the madness of chasing monsters via gamification one hundred years in the future (unless science creates the first living Pikachu of course…).

The point is that despite the advanced technology that we consume on a daily basis there will always be a place for a good story within the pages of a book.

Tonight? I might immerse myself on the PlayStation but when I head to bed it will be a book I end my day with. Long live literature!