Imagine a world without books.
No paper backs.
No hard backs.
No publishing houses.
(We’ll pretend at this point that magazines and newspapers haven’t been invented either.)
There would be no Borders book shops, isles packed with the top ten best selling fiction, autobiographies of celebrities with too much to say about themselves, and colourful cook books illustrating one hundred things to do with pasta.
There would be no second hand books shops to browse in, hickeldy pickeldy rows of dusty books for antique collectors, Agatha Christie mysteries and Jane Austen novels.
There would be no school libraries and no public libraries. No librarians seated behind stacks of new and old books and no children renting books for school projects or for their own personal reading pleasure. And no book club meetings for keen readers to discuss and dissect their favourite literature.
There would be no children’s books to buy for birthday presents and Christmas presents. No books for children to learn and recite the alphabet, colours, shapes, and farm yard animals. There would be no Beatrice Potter tales to tell at bedtime, tales of hedgehogs and foxes wearing clothes and leading interesting lives. No Winnie The Pooh adventures and a world where a tiger, a donkey and a piglet are friends.
No Famous Five and The Secret Seven detective stories, where girls and boys drink ginger pop and see the world through inquisitive eyes, and solve murders and uncover hidden treasure.
No teen romances featuring a school called Sweet Valley High and teenagers learning about crushes and heart ache through the experiences and knowledge of the author.
There would be no Stephen King dark and sinister thrillers to loose yourself in during long train journeys and aeroplane flights. Resulting in evil thoughts creeping into your peaceful dreams, turning them into weird and warped nightmares.
And there would be no films to interpret the ideas and scenes from the writers imagination. (Two of my favourite films began their journey as a book, Mary Poppins by P. L. Travellers and The Shining by Stephen King.)
And there would be no theatre plays to act out the words from books.
Are you imagining it?
Can you imagine it?
What a gaping black hole a world without books would leave.
Personally I can’t imagine my life without them. No paper backs and hard backs proudly perched on my book shelves in my loft conversion. No stories to escape in during my two hour commute to work. No excited conversations with my friends regarding a vampire named Edward and a werewolf called Jacob.
I thank the lord for allowing us mortals the intelligence and skills to invent books.
I'm glad there are authors to write books.
I'm glad there are editors to edit books.
I'm glad there are publishing houses to publish books.
I'm glad there are printers to print books.
I am also glad there are film studios and theatre companies to tell the stories of books.
And I'm especially glad my local theatre recently directed and presented a play of a book I read a couple of years ago, Behind the scenes at the museum.
It's the story of a family living above a pet shop. It's about relationships and secrets in a changing world.
And it starred one of my best friends, in a northern accent.
And she was brilliant.