The Power Of Books

Stories, invented or real, have captured our collective imagination ever since we acquired the ability to think and talk in the mists of time, and our personal imagination since our own dawn of consciousness. Committing our stories not only to memory, but to papyrus, parchment, or paper, created a vehicle to transfer them across time and space.

Geschichten, ob erfunden oder wahr, haben unsere kollektive Vorstellungskraft erobert, seit wir in Urzeiten die Fähigkeit zum Denken und Sprechen erlangten, und unsere persönliche Phantasie seit der Dämmerung unseres eigenen Bewußtseins. Indem wir unsere Geschichten nicht nur dem Gedächtnis sondern auch Papyrus, Pergament und Papier anvertrauten, erschufen wir ein Mittel, sie über Zeit und Raum hinweg zu transportieren.

Still, each new generation needs to acquire literacy anew, and our individual craving to become literate awakens when we are read to by our elders. When we finally learn the letters of the alphabet, and how to assemble them in the proper order to create meaning, a world heretofore unknown is unlocked, and life is never the same. Words and books have the power to grip our attention, make us lose ourselves in their meanings and pages, let us escape our reality, be it good or bad, and open new horizons previously inconceivable.

Jedoch muß jede neue Generation von neuem lesekundig werden, und unser individuelles Begehren nach Belesenheit wird erweckt, wenn uns unsere Leitfiguren vorlesen. Wenn wir endlich die Buchstaben des Alphabets lernen, sowie ihre sinnvolle Anordnung, eröffnet sich uns eine neue Welt, und nichts ist wie bisher. Wörter und Bücher fesseln unsere Aufmerksamkeit, ermöglichen es, uns in ihnen zu verlieren, unserer Realität, mag sie gut oder schlecht sein, zu entkommen und eröffnen uns neue, bisher ungeahnte Horizonte.

This power of books has been praised not only in word and song, but in additional artful creations, such as these statues. I have encountered them in various locales, some near libraries (those monuments to books), others in unexpected settings—in the middle of a pond, for example. While the fisherman is linked to the presence through his rod, he is clearly eons away. This post celebrates the improbable, incredible, yet indisputable influence of books.

Diese Macht der Bücher wird nicht nur in Wort und Gesang gepriesen, sondern auch mittels weiterer künstlerischer Kreationen. Diesen Statuen bin ich an den unterschiedlichsten Orten begegnet, manchen in der Nähe von Bibliotheken (diesen Büchern gewidmeten Denkmälern), anderen in unerwarteten Umfeldern, etwa inmitten eines Sees. Auch wenn seine Rute den Angler mit der Gegenwart verbindet, ist er offensichtlich Welten entfernt. Dieser Beitrag feiert den unwahrscheinlichen, unglaublichen, und dennoch unwiderleglichen Einfluß von Büchern.

To enlarge a photo, click on it.

Zum Vergrößern, das Bild bitte anklicken. 

43 thoughts on “The Power Of Books

  1. There is a great monumental sculpture in front of the library in Artesia, New Mexico that you might want to see if you ever pass that way [say on the road to Roswell]. It has children posed on a huge stack of books, some reading, others carrying books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the tip. We might have traveled through Artesia once during a return trip, but did not stop to look around. The statue sounds lovely, and I would definitely make an effort to see it. 📚

      Like

  2. I totally agree a wonderful and sensible approach! Books can open so much, even to feel comfortable in your own language and get the opportunity to voice what you want to say. When children are reduced to images or even photos, they have limited opportunities to say what they really feel and need…. The same thing is to get connected to your environment, you should have the chance to get comfort from that… Nature and special moments can help you more than the internet, to be yourself and sort something out….

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  3. Für Menschen, die aus den verschiedensten Gründen kein Buch mehr lesen können, sind EBooks und Hörbücher ein Segen.
    Trotzdem gilt für mich “willst du ein Weilchen selig sein, dann leg dich auf den Bauch” Vorzugsweise mit einem gebundenen Buch und auf einer Wiese 😉

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    • Damit hast Du natürlich recht, liebe Brigitte, aber glücklicherweise kann ich noch die echten Bücher lesen. Und die Vorstellung einer Lektüre auf einer bunten Blumenwiese ist bezaubernd. Herzlichen Dank, und ebenso herzliche Grüße,
      Tanja

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  4. Liebe Tanja,
    sehr schön, wie Du hier mit Deiner Foto-Sammlung Büchern und Lesern ein Denk-Mal setzt.
    Mir gefällt der Angler im See am besten. Während sich der Angelköder im See vertieft, vertieft sich der Leser in Buchstaben, die zu Wörtern werden, in Wörter, die zu Sätzen werden und Sätze, die zu Geschichten werden, die in Geist und Seele ihre Kreise ziehen …

    Über das Transportmittel Buch spricht – über Zeitalter hinweg – Geist zu Geist, und manchmal findet man in einem älteren Buch auch noch Lesespuren (Randnotizen, getrocknete Blumen, Unterstreichungen, Lesezeichen, Kinokarten, Fahrkarten, Kassenbons, umgeknickte Seitenecken und Schokoladenflecken usw.) früherer Leser. Dies ist für mich ein weiterer Grund, echten SINNLICHEN Büchern unbedingt den Vorzug gegenüber elektronischen (sterile Dateien) Büchern zu geben.
    Bibliophile Grüße von Deiner
    Bücherfee 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Danke, liebe Bücherfee, für Deine differenzierte Zustimmung und vertiefte Interpretation der erstaunlichen sinnlichen Vorgänge, die sich beim Eintauchen zwischen zwei Deckel abspielen. Es ist immer wieder ein Wunder, das am eigenen Leib und mit den eigenen Sinnen erfahren zu dürfen.

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    • Herzlichen Dank für den netten Kommentar. Da ich in den USA lebe, ist mein Englisch wahrscheinlich inzwischen besser als mein Deutsch (wird mir öfter gesagt), aber ich versuche, nicht alles zu vergessen.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Tanja

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  5. What an extraordinary collection of statues. So skilfully created and a great reminder of the joy of reading.

    I grew up in a fairly poor family where we grew all our own food (except meat), but the one thing we ALWAYS had in our home were books and a couple of sets of encyclopaedias. My older brother and his wife must have something like 10,000 books between their city and country homes and a whole room is devoted to them in both residences to this day.

    As a small child (and teenager), wherever I asked my Mother a question, she nearly always answered “go look it up in the encyclopaedia (or dictionary)”.

    One of the sorrows of my current life is my failing eyesight, which can’t be fully corrected by glasses, especially the astigmatism, (or double vision), which is quite bad in my left eye.

    Having taken a break from the computer in recent days, I happened to open a favourite old book set in Alaska and now I can’t put it down (to get back to my computer tasks). Luckily it has a fairly large font and well-crafted paragraphs with wonderful photos placed in several sections to give the eyes a rest.

    Great post Tanja 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you enjoyed my tribute to books and reading, Vicki. It is amazing how many lives have been touched by the printed word.

      I have had to put on the breaks with regard to buying books, and I am consciously trying to read as many of the volumes we already own, though it doesn’t always work, as new works are being added to my wish list almost daily. I think this is a common dilemma for all us book lovers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • …In your case, e-books might be helpful, as you can adjust the font size, but I don’t know if reading on the screen gives you a headache after a while. At least the option is there. And there are always audio-books, too!

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      • Interesting that you mention headaches, Tanja. I have severe headaches daily and this current lot have lasted 2 1/2 years. Only break was the 10 day course of steroids for my facial nerve inflammation and pain a couple of weeks ago. I’ve taken a break from the computer for most of the last week (except for a quick scan of my emails each morning) and had one of my meds increased by another 10mg and I’ve slept like a log and not woken up with such severe head/neck pain. This has meant my photo library task has been put on hold and most of my blog reading too, but I’m starting to think I should stay off the computer as much as possible. It’s not the cause of my headaches, but it doesn’t help them either.

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