In honor of the National Book Festival: why books are our best friends

While many children hated books growing up as much as they hated vegetables, others flocked to them like candy. Those in the latter category will be excited to know that Saturday, September 5 is the 15th Library of Congress National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Even if we aren't able to attend the festival, we can still spend the day indulging in our favorite books as a form of celebration. For book lovers, reading enables us to explore the boundaries of our imaginations. We live vicariously through the characters of the stories we read as they take us away from our current insular realities.

Books expand our horizons and enable us to connect to people with different experiences, interests, and cultural niches than our own. Many of the characters we read about even exist in different time periods, giving us a taste of life in the roaring 20s, the swinging 60s, and even the unexplored future.

For book lovers, reading offers the same platform for communication common to any art form. Our books become our best friends as we indulge in the stories of complete strangers who we come to know better than anyone. Our differences from the characters melt away as we get swept up in their stories.

Thus, the National Book Festival is perhaps one of the greatest days of the year as a plethora of artists including authors, poets, illustrators and special presenters come together to celebrate their crafts. This year, the festival's theme couldn't be any more fitting. The theme centers around Thomas Jefferson's spot-on quote, "I Cannot Live Without Books."

Maybe we can live without books, but we sure don't want to. We love you, books. Thanks for always being there.

Watch this video to see how parents can encourage their children to love reading:

Encouraging a Love of Reading

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