World Book Day

#WorldBookDay – this was one of the Twitter trends today. I’ve also learnt today that it’s only World Book Day in the United Kingdom today. In Germany, the „UNESCO Welttag des Buches“ is on April 23 which in England collides with St. George’s Day.

I had been meaning to write a bit about my use of media at the moment, including media such as books, and the World Book Day seems to be a good reason to write about my love for books which I sort of regained in the last few weeks and months.

A few days ago I posted this picture on Instagram saying this is what a favourite book has to look like: dog ears and even some torn pages. This book has been read at least four times by me only (my mother has also read it and maybe even my father, too). It is my abosolutely most favourite book ever and it’s the first in a series of now five books by the German author Rebecca Gablé. (There are some translations available of some of her novels in different languages, only one has been translated into English though). It’s historical fiction and it weaves the life and fate of a fictional family called the Waringhams with the royal house in general and the house of Lancaster (before and during the Wars of the Roses) in particular. Gablé tries to incorporate as much reality and as many of the events that really took place as she can and always makes it clear where she deviates from reality and truth. I’ve been given the fifth book for my birthday in December and decided to read the first four again before I start on the new one like I always did when a new book to this series had been published.

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I used to read a lot when I was younger. I usually had a pile of books next to my bed – because on the one hand I was too lazy to put the books I had finished reading back into the shelves and because on the other hand I was often reading two books at the same time. Back in the day the Internet didn’t hold as many interesting things as it does today, there were almost no social media and – a very important reason – I spent most of my evenings reading because I wasn’t addicted to several TV shows like I am now. On top of that, there was no household to be taken care of by me, no cooking, no laundry to be done by me. When I look back at how much I read when I was around 14 to 17 years old, it seems like the day had more than 24 hours.

I only read very little in my time in Trier. I didn’t during the day because there was always stuff to do, either for university or in the household or I preferred to spend my time with social media instead of with a book. And in the evenings I watched TV. I wanted to change that when I came to Bielefeld where I didn’t have to do any homework and was free when I came back from work in the afternoon. But I feel like I had to re-learn how to read. Not literally, but in the beginning I had to force myself to read at least a few pages each day because I felt no need to do that like I did when I was younger and sometimes read several books a week.

I have now regained my love of reading. There’s not one day where I don’t at least read a few pages and I ususally have to force myself to stop when it’s getting too late at night. Even with this book that I’m currently reading and that I could basically quote by heart because I’ve read it so many times. On the contrary, even though I know exactly what’s going on and what is about to happen, I thoroughly immerse myself in the story and all the old pictures start going off in my head. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination and with the best of books I tend to plunge into a whole different world. I’ve read this book so often that there are images in my head for most of the scenes and now, re-reading it again, these images come back to life. That is what I love about reading the most – the fact that there’s like a film inside my head and I can see everything that’s depicted in the book and more very clearly right in front of my eyes. Actually, with this book, it feels like I’m meeting old friends again or family members even. It feels all cosy and warm and just right (makes up for the book being quite heavy even though it’s a paperback and not being easy to hold up while lying in bed ;-) ).

It’s taking me longer to read than it did a few years ago. That is because even though I long to read (again), there’s also so much more other stuff I long to do as well that wasn’t there when I was still a pupil of 15 years living at home (and then there’s stuff I don’t enjoy but simply have to deal with).

So what’s the conclusion to all this rambling now? There’s none except the fact that it makes me happy to love reading once again – and that it makes me happy that my favourite book can still make me happy even when reading it forthe umpteenth time. And that I also believe reading (and reading real, good books) is important, especially for children but also for everyone, to develop fantasy and imagination and to maybe even escape from our normal lives in a way that no film, no TV show, no game can provide you with.

Keep reading! Happy World Book Day everyone!

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