Reading is part of a daily routine one which can be quite obsessive and at times appear to take over one’s life. However, reading serves a greater purpose than we are lead to believe in school. It enriches our vocabulary- no matter what we read, we will always stumble across a new word or phrase. We can escape to far away lands that unfold across pages of a book or on the screen of a device. The words allow our minds to work over time and get lost in adventure, romance, crime or horror. The written word educates is. It becomes one of our greatest resources allowing us to be informed about historical events as far back as records began. If you have the opportunity to do so, visit the Houses of Parliament and see the Magna Carta enclosed in a glass case for all to see. The written dating back to 1066.
Modern day brings us something different. We are told that no one reads books, newspapers or magazines anymore. Reading on a tablet or iPad is the way to do it. You no longer need to carry heavy books, all your holiday reading can be stored on a Kindle. No need to find a dictionary or encyclopaedia- just Google the word you need and Voila, in the blink of eye you have the meaning, various definitions , all available in over 100 languages.
Of course, the speed within which we can research is impressive but the Internet has taken away our ability to research and lose ourselves in the romance and mystery books and libraries bring. Dubbed “The Eye of Binhai”, the five storey library designed by Dutch architects holds 1.2 million books and merges the traditional with the modern. It has lounge areas, technology spaces, meeting rooms all within what appears to resemble a film set from Star Wars. The U.K. has some of the world’s most famous libraries not only because of the content they hold, but also because of their architecture. Clearly the British Library is not to everyone’s taste, but it’s open to everyone just like the Bodleian in Oxford, the Wren Library in Cambridge or the phenomenal Liverpool Central Library. And if looking in books is not for you, they all have digital platforms available.
Whether you read for pleasure or for business, remember just how worthwhile it can be to get lost in an oasis of books in a library.