World Book and Copyright Day: Importance of Reading

April 23 is carries such literary importance. Not only this day marks the death of authors, Miguel Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, the possible birth and death of the playwright, William Shakespeare, April 23 is marked as World Book and Copyright Day, a day designated by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as a celebration to promote reading and enjoyment of books. Because of its literary importance, this day was an obvious choice to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors and continuing access to reading. 

As book lovers, we all know the pleasure reading and books give us. Reading and books have such a rich history and if you want to really dive into it, here are some great book selections that will help you celebrate the importance of reading on this great day:

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The Social Life of Books: Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home by Abigail Williams

Two centuries before the advent of radio, television, and motion pictures, books were a cherished form of popular entertainment and an integral component of domestic social life. In this fascinating and vivid history, Abigail Williams explores the ways in which shared reading shaped the lives and literary culture of the time, offering new perspectives on how books have been used by their readers, and the part they have played in middle-class homes and families.

 

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The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite by Laura Freeman

At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.
As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food – and life more broadly – through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves’ appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf’s painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.

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The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids by Sarah Mackenzie

Connecting deeply with our kids can be difficult in our busy, technology-driven lives. Reading aloud offers us a chance to be fully present with our children. It also increases our kids’ academic success, inspires compassion, and fortifies them with the inner strength they need to face life’s challenges. As Sarah Mackenzie has found with her own six children, reading aloud long after kids are able to read to themselves can deepen relationships in a powerful way.

 

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The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Timeby

Keith Houston
We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In The Book, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue, and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages―of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity, and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations, and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Sure to delight book lovers of all stripes with its lush, full-color illustrations, The Book gives us the momentous and surprising history behind humanity’s most important―and universal―information technology.
35512560The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
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The Art of Reading by Damon Young
Damon Young shows us how to do exactly this, walking alongside some of the greatest readers who light a path for us — Borges, Plato, Woolf. Young reads passionately, selectively, surprisingly — from superhero noir to speculative realism, from Heidegger to Heinlein — and shows his reader how cultivating their inner critic can expand their own lives as well as the lives of those on the pages of the books they love.

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The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.

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