Thursday, March 4, 2010

World Book Day

Today is apparently World Book Day... in the UK and Ireland. I only stumbled across this article on it and immediately felt bad. World Book Day? What? I didn't know that! Some wannabe librarian I am! But it's not so much my fault, because World Book Day doesn't really happen in the rest of the world. Or something like that.

Name aside, this is still a very cool idea.

So on this World Book Day, if I have one modest wish, it is that, at least for a day, we ponder the real and spiritual poverty of a life lived without the ability to read, without the sheer joy of escaping into a good book. I can't put it half as eloquently as Julian Barnes who, explaining how books can help us steer through the tricky waters of life, said in Flaubert's Parrot: "Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't."

Yeah, Barnes put it much better.


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