Book Worm's Guide to Wanderlust: World Book Day 2021
On the World Book Day 2021, let me tell you what you might not know.
The idea of experiencing any unfamiliar or new place starts from living and spending some time there. Usually, the foremost approach is to visit the place physically and explore it. Well, considering the unpredictable scenario of the world, doing physical travel is not at all a recommending idea. As humanity across the world is struggling to overcome the pandemic. With some limitation on our physical visit is going to help a lot. But it doesn’t mean we need to suppress our zeal for experiencing the world.
With all the innovative options to keep ourselves engage during the difficult situation, taking virtual and imaginative travel are indeed interesting. One way of getting experience to travel abroad or any place, from the comfort of your own homes as well as following the protocol of the pandemic, is through virtual reality (VR) technology and 360-degree videography. One can round up the best virtual travel tours and online travel experiences that can be enjoyed online right now.
People also prefer to watch movies and TV shows having beautiful and admiring visuality. Moreover, the traditional and authentic approach to keep our wanderlust alive is reading. No other day will be better than today to re-gain the wings to the power of imagination through a habit of reading. After all, today is World Book Day, 2021.
“Books were safer than other people anyway.” - Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Books have developed powerful equipment to confront loneliness and isolation. World Book Day is celebrated every year on April 23. It is also known as World Book and Copyright Day. The day is organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The purpose of the celebration is to promote, reading, publishing and copyright.
April 23 is a symbolic date for the literature world due to the loss of some of the great literary personalities on this date in 1616. The literary world had lost Shakespeare, the father of modern English Literature, Cervantes, and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega on the same day in 1616. Hence, the day was chosen to pay tribute to the great literary figures. As per UNESCO, "In some countries, the number of books read has doubled" meanwhile the pandemic enforced people to stay home. It proves a well-said statement that everything has an optimistic approach too, just we need to maintain a positive attitude. UNESCO encouraged people to challenge themselves, to explore new topics, formats, or genres out of their ordinary. “Our goal is to engage people in reading, and to have fun doing so!”
Reading is one of the best and most budget-friendly ways to travel. One can move to far-flung destinations and get inspired by the power of words. So, to keep the enthusiasm alive, here I introduce you to some of the interesting books.
- Latitudes of Longing (2018) - Shubhangi Swarup
A far-reaching and lyrical debut novel, by Shubhangi Swarup, is about the love and longing between humanity and the earth itself. The novel moves across India, from an island to a valley, a city, and a snow desert to tell a love story of epic proportions. The spellbinding work of literature follows the interconnected lives of characters searching for true understanding. It introduces the readers to a scientist who studies trees and a clairvoyant who speaks to them; a geologist working to end futile wars over a glacier; octogenarian lovers; a mother struggling to free her revolutionary son; a yeti who seeks human companionship; a turtle who transforms first into a boat and then a woman; and the ghost of an evaporated ocean as impatient as the continents. Wrapping them all together is a vision of life as vast as the universe itself.
- The Hungry Tide (2004) - Amitav Ghosh
The novel is the journey of settlers and portrayal of places, from an immense labyrinth of tiny islands known as the Sundarbans, from the easternmost corner of India, in the Bay of Bengal. The settlers are living life in fear of drowning tides and man-eating tigers. It also introduces the readers to two major fictitious locations, Lusibari and Garjontola. However, the secondary locations, such as Canning, Gosaba, Satjelia, Morichjhapi and Emilybari, do exist and were indeed settled as mentioned in the novel. The arrival of a young American marine biologist of Indian descent, Piya Roy, to this lush, dangerous landscape in search of a rare species of river dolphin and counts on the help of a local fisherman and a translator. The journey of the three major characters develops an interesting and adventurous story.
- The Alchemist (1988) - Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist is an enchanting novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. Most travellers check this out on their adventures, whether it’s amazing archaeological sites or the most delicious meal. It is a story of an Andalusian shepherd, named Santiago who wants to travel in search of treasure. During his adventures, he travels from Spain to Egypt as he follows his heart and finds himself. Coelho presents a journey that matters—a journey of lessons and delightful stories of snakes, love, dunes and alchemy. It explains a journey to value inner treasure then worldly goods.
- The Secret Garden (1911) - Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is one of the most pleasant and durable classics of English children's literature by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett. Originally, it was published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was issued in novel form in 1911. The story revolves around the protagonist, Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma of losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, she doesn’t have good memories of her parents, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. It brings out the journey of the girl with the difference of lifestyle between India and Europe. It shows the variance of the east and west culture through the experience of Mary Lennox. The book has been adapted widely on stage, film and television.
- Treasure Island (1883) - Robert Louis Stevenson
For absolute story telling delight and pure adventure, Treasure Island is unbeatable. It narrates a tale of buccaneers and buried gold. The amazing scenes and characters have blown the imaginations of generations of readers. It begins from the moment young Jim Hawkins, the protagonists, first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn and continues until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle. The story revolves around the conflict between good and evil - but in this case a particularly engaging form of evil. It has influenced many popular perceptions of pirates, including elements such as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders. Overall, it is a gateway to experience a life of a pirate and the journey.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglass
On the whole, let’s celebrate the day with passion and vow to continue the reading habit. Books always play a vital role to fight illiteracy, poverty and strengthen peace. Nevertheless, this time it enlightens with knowledge, creativity, entertainment as well as hope. Reading books add to the idea to travel the world. It makes the readers more creative and assists to make their own stories throughout the journey. At last, wish you all Happy Reading!