Imagine a world where the number of books you read had the same power as the number of followers you had on a social media platform.
A world where a favorite book is shared as many times as a social media post. Readers and authors around the world would wield as much power as social media influencers do today, having the ability to make or break the world in the palm of their hands.
Publishing houses would make millions in profits and dominate the stock market. More children would want to become authors when they grow up and most importantly, would become great readers.
Bookshops and libraries would be the trendiest hangout spots where people would line up to purchase and peruse the latest best-sellers. The phrase “I stayed up late reading” would be an utter of joy and not of anguish as we frequently hear these days.
It says that if you see someone reading a book you love, the book tends resemble the person. This simple thought shines a spotlight on the fact that most readers have a lot in common. They are often the people who value others’ opinions and have the ability to sit and reflect. Qualities lacking in the fast-paced world we live in today.
Most view reading as a tedious act while some others categorize it as wholly unnecessary. Avid readers will attest to the fact that the act of reading is so much more than that. It is an institution, generally fueled by a warm drink, peaceful environment and a wonderful imagination.
In a world where everything is just a click away, reading has unfortunately become obsolete. The majority of people have chosen to follow the path of instant gratification, where pictures and videos have replaced the written word.
If the thrill of reading was as sought-after as the excitement of social media, the world would indeed be a very different place. Since books have the ability to present facts in a unique way that focuses on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ as well as the ‘when’ and ‘where’, it would persuade people to value the entire story. If so, the world would be filled with great decision makers who consider the consequences before an action is taken.
Every book genre would impart its own knowledge. Biographies would influence people to follow in the footsteps of great leaders, creating a better world for future generations. Fiction would teach people to become dreamers and to appreciate others, not despite but because of their differences. In a world where social media has taught us to value perfection, this would be a welcoming change.
Great authors would guide people to see the world through someone else’s eyes, vastly reducing conflict which would alleviate a great amount of the pain and suffering seen in the world today.
Although the prospect of a book-centric world might come off as a mere shower thought, which crossed the unrealistic mind of a dreamer, it surely is a sight to behold, full of promises and inspiration.
By Rtr. Thinuri Indrapala