Yes, they are--but that's what's so great about them! Books are from the past, and since everyone is born at one point in time and dies at another, who better to teach us about what we aren't around to see than books?
Books have been around for about five thousand years and in many different forms. They were in the form of portable clay tablets that were used by Mesopotamians; Egyptians used papyrus scrolls; then parchment was the preferred material used for bookmaking all over Europe.
People use books everyday. Books are our teachers, our entertainers. They are the key to the past and a window into the minds of others. Books contain stories and knowledge. And "knowledge is power" (Sir Francis Bacon).
Books can speak to individuals and help them cope with their problems or simply show them that they are not alone. They can bring people together who share the same loves and interests by drawing them out of themselves to become part of a community, whether it's in a local capacity (like a book club) or, globally (in the publishing world). But the one thing books always do is inspire.
Books are also our guides to life's obstacles and curve-balls. Jesse Lee Bennett said, "Books are the compasses and telescopes and sextants and charts which other men have prepared to help us navigate the dangerous seas of human life." Not only are they educators, they reveal many of life's wonders. Books reveal the mystical stories behind the stars, the greatness of Abraham Lincoln and Socrates. Books show us the strangeness of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales and reveal the the world's scientific discoveries like Marie Curie's work with radioactivity. Books let us experience the blazing hot sands of the Sahara desert and the majestic beauty of the Amazon forest. But the best part about books is that they let our imaginations run rampant.
Although I am more of a brick-and-mortar type of person when it comes to books, I like e-books because they allow even more people the chance to read because so many now have electronic devices and don't always fancy carrying a brick-like book on their back or shoulder.
I read Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird and in it, the characters say that mockingbirds don't do anything except sing melodious notes. Her book made me think about books in general and that it would be sad if books ever became extinct because they do nothing but enlighten us and help us pass the time. If books ever disappeared... then it would be like shooting a mockingbird.
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