For the Love of Books

  1. “Walking into a good bookshop is like walking into another zone. These places are time machines, space ships, story makers, secret keepers. They are dragon-tamers, dream catchers, fact-finders and safe places. They are full of infinite possibilities, and tales worth taking home. Because whether we’re in the middle of the desert or in the heart of a city, on the top of a mountain or on an underground train: having good stories to keep us company can mean the whole world.” – The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
  2. “Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn frm the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilisation, the depth of our awareness about the underpinings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.” – Carl Sagan
  3. “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”– Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  4. “Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.” – Alberto Manguel
  5. The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another. The child I once was read constantly and hardly spoke, because she was ambivalent about the merits of communication, about the risks of being mocked or punished or exposed. The idea of being understood and encouraged, of recognizing herself in another, of affirmation, had hardly occurred to her and neither had the idea that she had something to give others. So she read, taking in words in huge quantities, a children’s and then an adult’s novel a day for many years, seven books a week or so, gorging on books, fasting on speech, carrying piles of books home from the library. – Rebecca Solnit
  6. “I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
    In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”– Tahereh Mafi
  7. “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
    Go throw your TV set away,
    And in its place you can install
    A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
    Then fill the shelves with lots of books.”– Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  8. “I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.”– The New Life by Orhan Pamuk
  9. “And if I had a bookshop of my own? Well, it wouldn’t make any money. So I am no help to anyone. But I would set it somewhere with a garden, where light poured in through the windows. Sit in the sun, I’d tell my customers. Open this book. Try it. It won’t do any harm, after all, to sit a while and read.” – The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell
  10. “A book can become your best companion in times of crisis.
    Not only do you learn in the journey of your pages, but rediscover yourself, with your virtues and defects … often makes you question everything, even life itself.
    The books are fantastic, as they not only transport you to other places and the awakening of sensations, curiosity, laughter, hilarity, sadness, etc. Other times, it can give you a quiet space in truculent moments, and lead you to a level of peace, acceptance, healthy optimism, that I will never tire of recommending it.
    Never stop reading, there are no excuses … there are always some minutes in any place, at any time and a huge universe for all tastes!”– Liz Hay
  11. “If you have enough book space, I don’t want to talk to you.”– Terry Pratchett
  12. “Books make great gifts because they have the whole world inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy someone a book than it is to buy them the whole world.” – Neil Gaiman
  13. “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  14. “Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times?” Mo had said…”As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells…and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there, too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower…both strange and familiar.”– Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
  15. “The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”– Alan Bennett

 

 

-Sarah Jafrani.

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She Was Lost Between the Pages of a Good Book

She dipped her toes into the water, stretching the fabric of her leggings, a yellowed book cracked open on her lap. A cold breeze passed the dock area, rustling through her thick, dark curls and turning the pages, several at a time. The waves crashed into one another: a cacophony of the blue-green waters, white foam floating and curling around her feet like swirls of soap on the floor during a shower. The sun lowered into the horizon, concealing itself behind a blanket of blues and pinks and yellows. She nibbled on the tip of her thumb, teeth biting into the skin, her thoughts immersed in the characters between the pages and their struggles. This was the one place where she could come and sit by herself just to focus on how her breathing fell into a synchronised pattern, and enjoy how the early autumn wind danced delicately on her freckled skin, her half bare arms, and the nape of her neck that peeked through a bush of curls. She flipped another page, not worrying about the little sister who always found one excuse or another to come into her room and borrow something from her closet, or the mother who made it her life’s duty to teach her daughter how to work a stove and boil the rice to perfection. The characters in her books didn’t have to bother with such mundane tasks: they had to find sacred gems, go on road-trips with strangers, defeat an evil wizard, or go on a journey in search of their soulmate. How interesting their lives were, everyday a new found adventure, an exciting story to tell with plenty of hand gestures. The sun dipped lower, the sky changed colours, and she decided it was time to return to her world long, mundane days.

Sarah Jafrani

BS Biosciences