Nothing is more beautiful than a well-loved book


Alex Stefanis, Gazebo Guest Columnist

It is easy to become so enamored with the newest gadgets that we compromise our unique views. The prevalence of television and images on screens steals our ability to think creatively. Often, no one considers the opportunities in their own backyards.

The annual Friends of the Library Old Book Sale is a great example. The Old Book Sale, which began Thursday and runs through Sunday at Central City Park, is the perfect place to find any book you might enjoy.

Of course, teenagers would rather share the same images with everyone else, never allowing their imagination to run wild through seas of text, resulting in different worlds shared only through language.

I firmly believe if we worked out our minds with the dedication we use on our bodies, teens would emerge from high school prepared to face the trials of their future both with heroic actions, and educated observations.

 There is no denying that classes and studying can push me past my ability to continue working for my entertainment, and while I try to find time to observe local and world news in stories I can find online, I still prefer physical copies of my books.

It may be old fashioned but, in my eyes, there is no sight more beautiful than the creased spine of a well-loved book. It tells as many stories as the words inside. Stories of heirlooms passed through families, read and re-read until the delicate binding frays, and the pages curl around themselves.

These are my favorite stories.

Despite the increased struggle to find time to read daily, or even weekly, I find solace in the enduring presence of my favorite stories. As Hemingway once said, “there is no friend as loyal as a book.”

Those nine words sum up everything I feel about reading.

I have never fit perfectly into a friend group, but I have never felt lonely.  My company comes in the adventures I take with my favorite characters.

In fact, nothing fascinates me more than our ability to arrange 26 letters and work magic. With 26  letters, JK Rowling changed the world forever by taking a chance with a young wizard. Those same letters translated the terror of  Edgar Allan Poe’s mind for millions of readers to enjoy years after his death. Twenty-six letters and the stories they create make it possible for us to venture out into the unknown and come back stronger than before.

Books have the unique ability to take us to different worlds, safe havens where we can stay when the strain of real life threatens to break us. Worlds where we feel safe, and we can stay as long as we need.

I often find that in my darkest moments, I can find light in the pages of the books I read in my childhood. Titles such as “Percy Jackson &The Olympians” by Rick Riordan and “ Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell still bring me to tears when I consider how much these stories have shaped me.

I am forever in debt to my favorite authors for teaching me that no matter how lost or ordinary I feel, I can always return to the magical homes they have given me.

All I have to do, is turn the page.