Today I want to talk about books. I mean, books are essential for translators, we can’t live without them!
Some people like to read the biographies of the most influential people in history, like Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi. Some people like novels that send chills down their spines, from goth horror novels like Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” to Stephen King’s epistolary novel, “Carrie”. Some prefer the classics, like “Pride and Prejudice” or the “Old Man and the Sea”.
But regardless of the kind of books you like the most, the indisputable truth is that the world would not be the same without books. Books have been educating and inspiring us for thousands of years, so it should go without saying that they are a big part of our lives, especially for linguists.
Books are more than simple pieces of paper with words on them (or, in the case of digital books, a bunch of pixels on a screen). They’re a door into another world, whether that’s one full of fiction and imagination or a factual world that teaches you incredible new things. Reading a book is all about celebrating the awesome power of stories and the joy of reading. It’s mainly meant to help encourage a love of reading in children, but people of all ages can recognize and celebrate the day.
Books have a strong connection with schools, and they are used worldwide to allow school children to engage with reading and their favorite books. That’s why it is so important to not just indulge the love of books, but also make sure that children and young people can gain access to books.
Books did not always look the way they do today, with their glossy covers and creamy pages. When writing systems were invented in ancient civilizations thousands of years ago, clay tablets were used. Later, humanity moved on to using papyrus. In the 3rd century, the Chinese were the first to make something that resembled today’s books in that they consisted of numerous thick, bamboo pages sewn together. Then, in the mid-15th century, Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press brought books into the industrial age, making them readily available to anyone who wanted to read them. It is thanks to that ingenious invention that we are all able to enjoy the works of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, and many others in the comfort of our own homes today.
So, are you reading a book right now? If so, which one? Which one is your favorite book? Leave me a comment and let’s start a conversation!
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Until next time, take care and stay safe!