American writer Virginia Woolf once said, "Books are the mirrors of the soul." This is just one quote that showcases the significance of books and the value of reading. There are a myriad of quotes out there from notable personalities that highlight the different benefits that reading great books provides.
Every reader has his or her own personal reason why they read. For some, reading offers escapism. When the daily obligations of life get too stressful or too mundane, it's nice to be able to pick up a book and travel to some other place, lifestyle or time for a few quiet moments. And the cost of this travel is relatively inexpensive.
For others, reading is an important tool for learning new things. Even with all the web sites and video tutorials, some still prefer to learn through a tangible book. Sure, the web links and tutorials may be more cutting-edge and fitting of the current era, but often times these technological modes aren't as dependable. When the web links just won't work, the video tutorials mysteriously have been removed, and the internet just won't connect, a book remains a solid and steady presence, ready to assist its reader. Additionally, books are always ready to help the reader review or even relearn material years later.
While those involved in the world of academia certainly see the value of books, many, like Virginia Woolf, have an appreciation for reading since it allows them to make key connections. These connections may be between the reader and an important time in history, and it may even be a link to one's own heritage. By reading and collecting pieces of their history, readers can eventually form a clearer picture of who they truly are and where they've come from. It's amazing how a single book can provide poignant moments of introspection and numerous opportunities for personal growth.
A final attribute a book can bring a reader is the gift of inspiration. A book may inspire its reader to want to learn more about something, or it may even bring about a more significant change. Establishing a new viewpoint or making a change in life are some aspects in which a good book can be an inspirational catalyst. And it's not uncommon for affluent readers to be inspired to want to get their own thoughts, ideas, and experiences down onto paper - that may be a source of inspiration for others.
The JCC Dallas BookFest is a great place to start when embarking on a literary journey. While reading a book is certainly an adventure in itself, making connections with other avid readers and authors can enhance the experience. Learning how the written word has influenced others can be a source of inspiration too.