Books the magical power

Dr. Meghna Dhar
Book Reading gives a unifying and civilizing force tending to unite social groups through the dissemination of common experience. Books and reading are symbols of progress – emotionally, socially and culturally. A habit started from the tender age usually lasts forever. The book reading culture from the beginning can make anyone to be more interested about the things and the happenings in and around of human life. Reading good quality books incorporates the person’s contribution in growth of literate society. Book reading habit outlines good qualities, exact ideas, attitude change and information. Reading is a man’s protection against loneliness- his opening on life, his eternal delight. It generates yesterday and tomorrow into now. Reading has originated to grasp the most important place in education as a means of transmission in a highly literate society. Students are fond of reading books in leisure time, during examinations and consider it as indispensable part of their lives.
What is World Book Day and Copy Right Day?
23rd April is a symbolic date in world literature. ‘World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the magical power of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures. World Book Day and Copyright Day, also known as International Day of the Book. It is celebrated every year in order to promote the reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright among the public worldwide. A day to encourage you to read and celebrate books and reading. This day is to encourage and help you discover the pleasure of reading. It is also a day to remember and thank writers for their immense contribution to humankind. This day gives us a chance to recognize the power of books and how they can change our lives for the better society. In this light, it is necessary for us to support books and those who produce them.
Why April 23?
It is a matter of coincidence that on this day many authors were born or had died! The prominent authors among those were Shakespeare ,Cervantes, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Maurice Druon, Haldor K. Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejia Vallejo .This date was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books – the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity space and time as well as the most powerful forces of poverty eradication and peace building. By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. With the active involvement of all stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day becomes a platform to bring together millions of people all around the world.
How World Book Day is Celebrated
One can get involved in celebrating the World Book Day by buying and reading some exciting and funny books from the market or popular book shops. World Book Day celebration plays a great role in bringing kids closer to the book reading habits as well as creates interest in them to know about authors and other important things. Every year the event is celebrated to promote the power of books among people in order to bring them together as well as disseminate variety of cultures to other people. The day is celebrated to promote education among young people as well as people living in underprivileged sections. At this day, some young people including children are awarded for their better performance for novels, short- stories or picture books promoting peace, tolerance, understanding and respect among each other for other cultures and traditions. A different poster is designed every year based on the particular themes of the year and distributed among people around the world. Posters are designed in such way to encourage people and children to read more books.
World Book and Copyright Day celebration attracts people from all continents and cultural backgrounds all over the world. It helps them to discover new ideas and explore their knowledge. Books are depositories of heritage, culture, windows of knowledge, tools for dialogue, source of wealth and much more. It encourages people specially youngsters to read books, discover real pleasure and knowledge among books, as well as creating new ideas for their extraordinary contributions towards the society. The customer may feel motivated and respected by reading books . Every year, major celebration events takes place at different places. In Jammu the World Book Day is celebrated at Sri Ranbir Library ,Kachi Chowni on 23rd April every year, by organizing book exhibition of rare books and manuscripts. And for the first time in the history of University of Jammu, World Book Day was organized in the Dhanvantri Library , in 2019 where the rare and special collection of the library was displayed by organizing Book Exhibition of Rare Books ,Manuscripts and Newspapers .
Books, a gateway to knowledge are the most outstanding single innovation in the history of mankind. It has emerged as a powerful means of dissemination and retrieval to educational tools. The modern technology is applied in speedy retrieval of information most consistently. With the development of ICT, book reading habits are diminishing. The students are progressively more or less influenced by Internet and mobile phones that affect them in different domains of their growth and development .It is recommended that teachers and parents are primary source of inculcating good reading habits among children and make them devoted, willing and responsive readers. They should encourage the students to improve their knowledge by reading books, newspapers, magazines and journals. They must provide necessary guidance as to what to read and how to read. Reader’s survey should be conducted quite often to improve the library services as well as to know their taste and interest in literature. On the whole, it is the team work of librarians, teachers, authors, publishers, book exhibitions and parents that help to promote and develop book reading habits in the student’s community in particular and to public in general. Reading habits, like other habits has a direct link with the kind of exposure and experience the children get in the early years. If the child is brought up in an environment of books, he/she is likely to develop love for reading books. Although, Internet has helped to remove barriers of distance and time. But books are the depositories of heritage, culture, windows of gateway to knowledge, tools for dialogue and rich sources of wealth which teach us about past, present and future and lead us to a glorious future. Book Reading is important, and setting aside a date for this purpose is to lay emphasis on this fact. But, it does not mean that reading should happen only on April 23. Instead, it is something that must grow to be a part of you throughout life. This shall promote not only the book, but the pen, the computer and all forms of reading. Literacy is the only way we can fight ignorance and poverty, build sustainable societies and strengthen the foundations of peace.
(The author is Assistant Professor, University of Jammu, Jammu)