Humans have sought guidance and wisdom, have taken refuge and shelter in the ever-present guardians of our legacies; books. Today, when coronavirus has shuttered all the academic venues of our societies, let us all turn to the ever-reliable companionship of our books to not only wile away these trying times but also to capitalize upon this opportunity to educate ourselves in the infinite variety of our interests.
23rd of April, the birth and the death day of William Shakespeare, is globally celebrated as the International Day of books. The day was chosen for such an intellectual celebration precisely because of its peculiarity of being the death anniversary as well as the day when this great author, poet, playwright, and dramatist was born to grace the world with his genius, and to furnish it with the fruits of his intellect, something which we even after more than 4 centuries, are still benefiting from. Such is the power vested in the pages of our books to transport us across times, lands, and cultures, to embellish our lives with the wisdom of the great and the wise.
Whether short fairytales for children or great, hefty volumes of scientific and philosophical deliberations, all content within their words the secret of being human. For instance, a major complex regarding good looks which ails our youth today can easily be cured by understanding and practically adopting the moral of a mere fairytale, Beauty and The Beast. It describes how outward beauty even that of a prince fails to be a charming virtue if tainted with pride, and how a beastly visage can be admirable if characterized by kindness and humility. A children’s tale of Pinocchio illustrates how loathsome and repulsive can a liar be, how lying disfigures your person, but if one refrains from persisting in one’s falsehood, one can regain the beauty of one’s character. Similarly, Paulo Coelho teaches how “the universe conspires to make man meet his destiny.” (The Alchemist); and Dan Brown emphasizes the importance of inclusion, and the significance of giving others a fair chance to be understood in their perspectives; “the worst kind of loneliness in the world is the isolation that comes from being misunderstood, it can make people lose their grasp on reality.” (Inferno)
In essence dear reader, should we wish to, we can enter the pages of our books, visit the world of its words and lend our ears to the silent voice of its author, to enrich our knowledge and understanding of human nature so that we could finally, in good conscience, make ourselves deserving of being crowned as the best of all creation. Even if you are not an avid reader of books, I would make this parting appeal to your kind consideration to befriend a good book, let it accompany you in these times of inactivity, and give yourself a chance to appreciate the mellow sweetness and the spellbinding power of its silent but eloquent words.