National Book Lovers Day; Honoring the significance of stories
Though the month of August is known more for its hot weather than its holidays, there are some relatively obscure celebrations that take place during this time of year. One such day is August 9: National Book Lovers Day. As an enthusiastic reader, I want to make the most of this opportunity to honor the power and significance of stories.
The written word is a vital method of communication in many languages and cultures and, like spoken language, has the capacity not just to transmit a message or share a piece of information but to evoke emotions, to feel connections, to recognize ourselves in others. Stories can make us laugh and make us cry; they can teach us about ourselves and about our world; they can motivate us to take action in our lives and inspire us to create stories of our own. These feelings, I believe, are what make stories, especially the well-written ones, so powerful.
When I read such books, ones that are impressively well-written, I always find myself amazed by the worlds the authors create, whether they are the worlds of fantastical, foreign civilizations or the personal worlds of ordinary people here on Earth. I find myself captivated by the characters that inhabit these worlds, how they take on a life of their own, and how, even in the case of the fantastical worlds where the characters may not be human by species, they are so human by personality, by nature. I can immerse myself in these worlds; I can see parts of myself in these characters. When the stories of these worlds and these characters are told well, with beautiful sentences and creative descriptions and unique depictions, they can be very powerful. It is books like these—books that are so enjoyable to read, books that celebrate our differences while still bringing us together—that I want to celebrate.
Anna Janowski is a teen volunteer at the Beaverton City Library. Outside of school, she likes to read, write, play softball and the trumpet.