The ability to read opens the world to endless possibilities and opportunities. It has been fundamental to how our world has evolved and plays a significant role in our day-to-day lives. From the earliest forms of writing onwards, reading has been a powerful tool for communication, education as well as social change, and it will no doubt continue to shape our lives forever.
The most significant way reading has changed our world has been through the ease with which we can share knowledge and ideas across generations and cultures. Reading gives us power, for if you can read, you can learn.
Without reading, we would live in isolation, unaware of what is happening in the news or in other parts of the world. We would never be open to new ways of thinking. Instead, we would most likely live in a bubble of ignorance.
We take the invention of the alphabet for granted, but it is core to how we communicate. Before the alphabet, we communicated in pictographs. Not the easiest way to communicate ideas, and we are sure they were most probably open to interpretation.
The alphabet made it possible to record information, spread knowledge, and communicate our thoughts and feelings in a way that had never been seen before. Learning your ABCs is definitely a lot easier than learning hieroglyphics! And we don’t think your latest thriller would have been quite as thrilling as it is now. We are trying to picture that murder scene in pictographs!
The Power of Books
To say that reading revolutionized education and understanding would be an understatement. Books have become core to how we share knowledge and have opened the world to critical thinking, debate, and the enjoyment of storytelling.
We love that no matter what subject you want to learn about, there is always a book that can help you. And when it comes to reading, books capture our imaginations; they transport us to different worlds and open our minds to different perspectives and concepts. Our world would be very small without them.
The alphabet gave us the skill to record information and knowledge while reading has transformed our understanding of the world around us. Together they have created a legacy that shapes our lives on a daily basis.
The Wonderful World of Learning
Reading has probably had the biggest impact on our education system. We hate to think about how we would learn without books. An article in Harvard Magazine summed it up perfectly, “without reading, there can be no learning; without learning, there can be no sense of a larger world; without the sense of a larger world, there can be no ardor to find it; without ardor, where is joy?”
Reading touches every aspect of our life; it is mind-boggling when you start to think of everything you read on a daily basis, from notices, directions, texts, and social media, even down to reading a sheet of music. It is only through language and the ability to read that we can truly investigate, describe and interpret the world around us.
Education is now something that everyone has access to, and continuous learning has become a way of life. As Nelson Mandela so eloquently phrased it, “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.”
Reading frees us, it empowers us, and the knowledge you gain can never be taken away from you.
A World Without Books???
Sometimes when trying to understand the impact of something like reading, it is easier to imagine a world without it. A world without reading? We happen to think that would be a very sad place. No more cuddling up on the couch or on your favorite armchair or staying under the covers with a great book in hand. No more escaping to long-lost worlds or those yet to be imagined.
Reading is not only about learning, but it is also a way we relax, escape and take time out of the day just for ourselves. There is nothing better than getting caught up in a great book; your imagination roars to life as you imagine what the characters look and sound like, how the places smell, and the sounds of a city sleeping at night. The descriptions of sunrises and sunsets. The characters we meet along the way, the mysteries we solve, and the romances we share in, and we open ourselves up to the views of others.
And besides, we really can’t imagine a world without Once Upon a Book Club. Where would the magic come from?