The Joy of Books

The earliest known example of ‘books’ are the cave drawings at Lascaux in southwestern France. They were discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat on September 12, 1940. The drawings have been dated to be approximately 20,000 years old.

Cave drawings are essentially books drawn by our ancestors to teach their children about family and tribal traditions.

Lascaux II, a replica of parts of the caves opened in 1983. The originals had been suffering damage from over exposure to humidity from visitors’ breath and handling.

In the first century BC Buddhist monks carried special palm leaf books on their travels through Persia, Afghanistan, Iran and China.

In 1439 a young German blacksmith Jahannes Gutenberg became the first European to use moveable type.

His first book was the Holy Bible. It has since been printed over 6,000 million times and translated into over 2,000 languages.

From earliest childhood we are drawn to them. As babies we love to us them as teething toys. When we get a little bigger we actually start paying attention to the pictures.

As older kids we hide under the covers at night with a flashlight and read until we finally fall asleep from exhaustion. The beautifully woven stories and breathtaking illustrations magically transport us to faery lands or hidden pirate treasure. When we’re old enough we finally ditch the flashlight.

I had the enormous privilege of being raised by parents who were definitely book worms. It was a nightly tradition to be read to or read on our own as part of going to bed.

For me Christmas is all about traditions. My favourite of course is the original Christmas story….the birth of Jesus Christ. Without Him, we wouldn’t even have Christmas.

We love traditions especially when they are about the holidays. We put the tree up on the same day each year. We have a favourite star or angel for the top. The reading of a traditional family favourite, especially aloud, is always a wonderful memory for the season. If you do not yet have one give yourself a wonderful gift and start now! It doesn’t matter whether you are in a house full of children or just sitting at home with the dog and cat.

We poke around in our favourite bookstores for hours to find that special gift for loved ones in our lives and it doesn’t seem to matter what the subject is. We get lost in them all from new and classic faery tales to the latest version of events shaping our little rock called Earth.

Without books we would never know the great wit and wisdom of Erma Bombeck or the Victorian world of Charles Dickens.

Books can even smell good especially old leather bound editions glued together and bound with catgut. One of my favourite memories of books is my maternal grandparents’ enormous collection of books at our family cottage on the shores of Lake of Bays near Huntsville, Ontario.

Books are old and comforting friends in our modern and crazy Internet world. Besides, to be honest, just how much fun is it really to sit in front of a computer screen and read?

Books are a whole lot tougher than computers too, they never crash! We can even read them in a power outage. Hey, all you need is a flashlight!

Books educate, illuminate, encourage debate, and just plain fascinate. Aren’t books cool?

As you can plainly tell I love to read. I also love to write and have been doing so for many years. I write mainly children’s stories and poems but love to tackle new and interesting projects on practically any subject matter.

My first major foray into the world of publishing is a story and colouring book entitled Sunny’s Grand Adventure. Sunny is a daisy who wants to fly. My very dear friend and illustrator Pam (P.J.) Masi and I self published ‘her’ in the fall of 2004.

So many people tell us that they love how she reaches for her dream no matter what others might think and that we all need to do the same.

So give the gift of delight and wonderment this holiday season or any time of year!

Have a good holiday everybody!

Love,
Val

 

Connect to other places

Encouraging children and adults to read or learn to read

Books can’t crash or start slowing down

My love of reading and writing

Sunny’s Grand Adventure    1st article

Fun and Frolic                       2nd article

 

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