The Importance of Books to Society
  • Fri, 06/06/2014
Printer-friendly versionSend to friendPDF version

Have you heard the story of Liz Murray? She is noted for having participated in dialogues with the likes of Tony Blaire, Mikhael Gorbachev, and the Dalai Lama. However, her beginnings vere far humbler. Murray was born in the Bronx, New York on September 23, 1980 to poor and drug-addicted parents who often left her as a child without food, so that she would be forced to eat ice and toothpaste. In her elementary school years, she suffered from lice problems so severe that lice would fall from her head onto her notebooks. She became homeless just after she turned 15, when her mother died of AIDS, and her father moved to a homeless shelter.

Despite all of this, Murray began attending the Humanities Preparatory Academy in Chelsea, Manhattan, graduating in two years. She was awarded a New York Times scholarship for needy students and was accepted into Harvard University, graduating in the fall semester of 2000. She went from a youth at the margins of society to become a major figure in society and an inspiration for many people.

When we hear a story like this, we are compelled to compare her life to our own lives. We are forced to think about our own circumstances, what we have accomplished, and what we are capable of accomplishing.

Words, whether written on a page or spoken out load, are not mere symbols. They have a spirit and a life to them. They are not just a series of letters, but a means by which one person can touch the heart and mind of another.

Some texts, stories, and utterances become part of you after you encounter them. They integrate themselves into your very identity.

Poverty, suffering, and displacement, just like wealth, youth, and fame, do not last long. However, knowledge is a distinction that is integral to a person. Look at a book like you would look at a person. Look at a text that you read as if it were a full, bustling world of its own.

The world is a mighty book made by the hand of Allah which has created everything with utmost precision. The things in the world are the letters that we can read and quote from.

You are a single letter in the great book of this world, and you have the ability to take in so much more of the text if your mind is keen enough.

Hearing, sight, the imagination, and the heart are the means by which we can read ourselves and other people like ourselves. Be inspired by the messages that are deep inside you, waiting to be read. These are the doors through which you will learn about what it means to be human.

A father reads his children’s faces. A lover, in the same way, reads the feelings of the beloved. Likewise, farmers look at nature to read the state of their crops. Intelligent people read themselves carefully before reading others.

A teacher of mine once said: “Embrace a book even while eating. Be like a dog who buries one bone while eating another that was thrown its way.”

Since that day, I do not think I have ever been alone, even when I was locked in a room.

The book’s historical roots are in the Middle East, in Babylon, but it has emigrated far away, leaving the Middle East in ignorance.

Reading is a form of pleasure that lasts when other forms of pleasures have died away. A person who is well read has a much richer life.

A genuine reading experience is a process of building, demolition, reconstruction, and analysis.

I always find books to be a treasure trove for the mind, as well as a source of enjoyment. Books take me from my familiar narrow world to one with limitless horizons. I take delight in books today just as much as I did when I was a child. They are still my favorite gifts.

Books for everyone is just like bread from everyone. In Frankfort Germany, there are large containers placed in various locations where any passerby can open. The containers are book depositories. People are free to browse the books, take a book with them and return it, or donate books of their own in any language.

This shows a great deal of trust. These book depositories are not monitored, so people have to assume that everyone is going to be honest. It also shows that people are expected to act sensibly, and know how to behave.

Letting very small children read books containing bright colorful pictures is a great way to instill a love of books at an early age.

Teaching an illiterate adult to read is like breaking an evil curse that had been cast over them. It is like giving someone a new sensory faculty they never possessed before.

Book fairs are major cultural events that enable greater awareness in our societies.

A student who takes his or her last look at a book when entering the examination hall, like a person making a final farewell, never really graduates from school. That student never really started.