Walt Disney once said, "There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island."
And there are a lot of people around the world who apparently agree with that sentiment. Despite numerous pronouncements over the years that the death of the book was nigh, with the culprits being shrinking attention spans and an ever-expanding array of technological gadgets, the book has survived and thrived. Books have been around for centuries, long before radio, movies, television, video games, virtual reality and smartphones, and chances are people will still want to be transported by a good book no matter what flashy diversions loom over the horizon.
Perhaps because of the pandemic and the isolation that has come with it, book sales in the United States have been strong. Publisher's Weekly reported sales of print books rose 29.2% in the first quarter of 2021 over the same period in 2020. According to Guinness World Records, the Bible is the most-distributed book of all time, with the Quran and "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung" following not far behind. Some other all-time best-sellers include "The DaVinci Code," "The Bridges of Madison County," "Anne of Green Gables" and "The Great Gatsby."
Monday is National Book Lovers Day, a day designed to celebrate books and encourage people to read them. If he were around today, Thomas Jefferson would undoubtedly be observing the day. After all, our third president, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the founder of the University of Virginia once declared, "I cannot live without books."
Aug. 5: National Underwear Day, National Work Like a Dog Day, National Oyster Day
Aug. 6: National Fresh Breath Day, National Wiggle Your Toes Day, International Beer Day
Aug. 7: National Lighthouse Day, National Play Outside Day, National Disc Golf Day
Aug. 8: Global Sleep Under the Stars Night, National Happiness Happens Day, National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day
Aug. 9: National Book Lovers Day, National Rice Pudding Day, National Polka Day
Aug. 10: National Lazy Day, National S’mores Day, National Spoil Your Dog Day
Aug. 11: Global Kinetic Sand Day, National Sons and Daughters Day, National Presidential Joke Day