Celebrate National Book Lovers Day locally

Plot Devices by WVWC alum Em Pechon

BUCKHANNON — People around the world plan to celebrate National Book Lovers Day, but residents of Upshur County are lucky to have multiple libraries and book stores within driving distance to help in discovering the next best read.

According to nationaldaycalendar.com, National Book Lovers Day, on Tuesday, August 9, harnesses all the excitement bibliophiles, a person who has a great appreciation for or collects books, feel about books into one celebration. A day for all those who love to read, National Book Lovers Day encourages people to find their favorite reading place, a good book, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, and read the day away.

Book enthusiasts can visit a number of local libraries or book stores to dive into the national day. Upshur County residents can visit the following locations to hunt for thought-provoking subject matter:

• The Upshur County Public Library, located at 1150 Route 20 South Road in Buckhannon

• The Charles W Gibson Public Library, located at 105 East Main Street in Buckhannon

• Argo Books, located at 6 North Spring Street in Buckhannon

According to calendar.com, “No one really knows how or when National Book Lovers became a part of the calendar, but people have been carrying books with them for centuries. Books were invented to substitute the heavy stones where texts and drawings were originally carved, as many people would struggle to carry them. The first books were made of parchment or calfskin and had a cover made of wood that was wrapped in leather.”

In earlier years, books were large and bound with expensive leather. Only wealthy people could afford to own them. The only book that most people owned at the time was the Bible. With the Industrial Revolution and the wide availability of printing presses, cheap paperback books began being published and distributed, not only making them affordable but also easy to carry. Books saw a huge rise in popularity. Popular American authors at the time included Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe, among many others. 

Along with several recent developments, book manufacturers now often use digital printing. Pages are printed using toner rather than ink. As a result of digital printing, print-on-demand opens up a whole new realm of publishing. In this case, distributors do not print the books until the customer places the order.

Book lovers can rejoice at a wide variety of genres, authors and books from different time periods. There are thrillers, romances, non-fiction and graphic novels More and more, people are now reading E-books. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. These are also now accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and kindles. However, true enthusiasts will say there is nothing like the feel and smell of a good book.

Here are 10 interesting facts about books, libraries and reading, found on ebookfriendly.com:

1. The first-ever “Harry Potter” was a short story published in communist Poland in 1972.

2. In the Harvard Library, there are three books suspected to be bound in human skin.

3. According to the Guinness World Records, the largest book in the world weighs over 3,000 lb and measures 16.40 ft x 26.44 ft.

4. The largest book ever published – “The Little Prince” – is almost 7 feet high and 10 feet wide.

5. The first bookmobile in the world was launched in 1857. It was a horse-drawn wagon created to “diffuse good literature among the rural population.”

6. This monastery in Egypt is home to the oldest continually operating library in the world, established in AD 565.

7. The word library comes from Latin liber – the inner bark of trees – and was first used in written form in the 14th century.

8. The world’s largest fine for an overdue library book stands at $345.14, the amount owed at two cents a day.

9. Dorothy Straight wrote her book How the World Began when she was 4 years and 3 months old, making her the youngest person in the world to write a published book.

10. The first e-book in the world is The Declaration of Independence, released in 1971.

According to Reading Rockets, at just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects on cardboard pages. By drawing attention to pictures and associating the words with both pictures and the real-world objects, children can learn the importance of language. Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand the written word.

Junior Learning provided 5 benefits of reading. Those benefits include reducing stress, improving concentration and memory, the expansion of vocabulary, enhancing knowledge and increasing creativity.

Visit one of the local libraries or book store listed above to begin or nurture your reading journey.

Plot Devices by WVWC alum Em Pechon


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