Sitting on the floor of the library in a Shakespeare aisle, peering up at shelves upon shelves of time-honored works of art, I’m feeling inspired. Here stand works read by millions upon millions of people, spanning hundreds of years of history and influencing each person in some way, whether minuscule or grandiose. Such is the power of the written word. Many are the books that stand in this library, but many, too, are the names engraved in their covers. It takes courage to be a writer. I think so. Whether expressing personal beliefs, foreign experiences, or fictional views, what’s printed is out there for the world to judge.
Nowadays, the radio, television, and YouTube (among other technological mass communication mediums) impact people just as greatly as (and even more than) books, but there will always be something unique about the written word. While it is easy to understand the message in a video through display of body language and voice inflection, lack of those features contributes to the magic of a book. The author constructs their writing to the best of their ability in order to get their point across, but because it is the words and only the words that pass the author’s idea along, there is room for interpretation by the reader. Without voice and body clues, the reader can (in some ways) better connect with the message of the book because they are able to interpret it through their own perspective lens.
Pick up a book, and, judging by its condition, imagine the number of people who have read from that same copy. I find it to be a humbling experience. Books are a concrete connection of people through knowledge.