Like Alice, they pop into wonderlands through rabbit holes made of papyrus; they enter new worlds through portals of ink. They have a fever from the bug of bibliophilia. They are bookworms, readers. For them turning the pages of a good tome is like Ali Baba saying open sesame and unlocking a cache of treasures beyond imagination (King David attested to this in one of his timeless poems by saying reading the words of the Good Book makes him as deliriously euphoric as one who happened upon invaluable jewels).
Our world would never have been complete without books. They are one of the few things that transcend the earthly. Books are eternal, even the heavens have a library. They are one of the best gifts God gave to man.
God presents himself to us in the Book. St Luke the physician tells us that before Jesus began his ministry, he read a biography about himself by the prophet Isaiah. Joshua was advised to meditate and obey a legal volume because it was the manual for prosperity and success. Timothy was told that to obtain God’s approval he had to study. I dare say that part of Paul’s missionary accomplishments can be attributed to books because even when he was staring death in the eye in a Roman prison, one of the last things he asked for was his parchments.
Books are powerful; Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” was a huge factor in the turning of sane nationals into genocidal Nazis. Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” made him a target for assassination. Harriet Beecham Stowe’s “Uncle Tom Cabins” is purported to have been part of the initiator of the American Civil war. Adam Smith’s “Wealth of nations” changed world economics forever. Darwin’s “Origin of species” still makes some people believe that human beings are the progeny of apes. Karl Max’s “Das Kapital” spearheaded world communism. Josiah’s men found a book during the renovation of Solomon’s temple and it sparked off a spiritual revolution in morally bankrupt and decadent Israel. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A BOOK!!!
The value of a good book is priceless; it enlarges your mental capacity and makes your mind more agile than Spiderman. It is actually inexplicable but a mental stretch akin to Bruce Banner becoming an intelligent Hulk from gamma irradiation or Reed Richards becoming Mr. Fantastic after being subjected to cosmic rays happens to one following the diligent perusal of a really nice book. For example after reading “From third world to first world, the Singapore story” by Lee Kuan Yew, something expanded within me. That is the wonder of a good book, whether it be fiction like Chimamanda’s “Half of a yellow sun” or a business book like Jim Collins “Good to Great”. A great read can change your life in more ways than one. Martin Luther started the protestant movement when he came across the verse “the just shall live by faith” in The Book.
Are you seeking for some heady experience, an exhilarating tour or a magical quest for knowledge? Go out of your way, pick up a good read today, opening its pages might just be like saying open sesame. You might discover things you never bargained for.
I posed a question to Seun Akinsanmi, the photographer I talked about in my post “The Kiss” about how he was able to discover treasures in the depths of the ocean of photography that his predecessors never found. I will never forget his answer! He paused for a minute and said in a contemplative voice “BOOKS, BOOKS ARE THE SHORTEST ROUTE!!!” I wasn’t surprised though; you should try and check out his library someday, the riches in the cave of the forty thieves has nothing on it!