Digital book sales are soaring all over the world. People aren’t binging on TV shows or video games and food (Even though I know I can’t resist my favorite mocha ice cream right now!). Against all odds, they’re binging on books. They’re READING.
As it has happened before in human history, people return to stories and books in times of uncertainty and sorrow. They look for guidance and inspiration, food for thought and for the soul, something to uplift them and keep their hope alive. The world would be a much drearier place right now without books, without our favorite characters and stories, or without those writers who pursued their calling relentlessly, although nobody believed them in the beginning.
The immortal Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind” helped my mother keep the faith through the darkest time of her life. “Tomorrow is another day,” became the motto that inspired her to never give up on her dreams and stand true to her beliefs. During the communist regime, she refused to become a member of the communist party despite the threat of losing her job. Doctors told her she couldn’t get pregnant, yet she and my father tried everything, and, when they least expected it, they had me. My mother learned from Margaret Mitchell’s protagonist that humans could overcome any adversity.
Osho’s books helped me find balance after losing my dad at only 21. His words of wisdom showed me a different perspective on life and death. Later on, I learned about the power of our thoughts and my inner creative strength from authors such as Louise Hay, Carlos Castaneda, and Neale Donald Walsch. He was homeless, sleeping on benches when the idea for “Conversations with God” came to him. The trilogy touched millions of people and changed lives for the better. With each bettered life, society in itself got better.
You are probably familiar with J.K. Rowling’s story and her burning passion for writing. Her resilience and dedication is something I always think about whenever the fear of rejection creeps into my mind. What would have happened if she had given up after her first rejection letter from an editor? Can anyone imagine the modern day without Harry Potter? I guess not.
We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring or how our lives are going to change, although different scenarios are thrown at us every day, especially now. I hope these past few months have turned us into better people—kinder, wiser, more generous, more attuned to nature. One thing is sure, though. No matter what will happen, people will need books more than ever to cope with the unknown and changes in their lives. They will need your gift, your help. Don’t hold it back. Now is your time, the time you’ve been waiting for!