#BooksBeloved: Celebrating the Magic of Books

By Laura Deck, posted on

What would our lives be like without books? Books open doors, transport us to other worlds, stir our imagination, and serve as a springboard to opportunities. Everyone should have the ability and freedom to read.

Imagine, for a moment, a world where books are outlawed or no longer exist. Several classic novels paint a haunting picture of what life could be like without books:

  • In The Handmaid’s Tale, books and reading are strictly forbidden for women in dystopian Gilead. Even the shop signs are images instead of words to discourage reading.
  • In The Book Thief, set in Germany during World War II, Liesel discovers the wonder of written language but has to read in secret because the Nazis are burning books.
  • In Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic society where books are outlawed and “firemen” burn any that are found is a way to keep people illiterate and complacent.

For many people around the world, printed books are abundant, but due to visual impairments, physical disabilities, or learning disabilities, books are out of reach. Millions of people do not have the books, technology, or resources to help them read. Benetech’s Bookshare wants to change that.

"When we read, it give us hope and it changes us. We're different when we start a book and when we finish it." – Jacqueline Woodson, author, Red at the Bone

#BooksBeloved is Raising the Awareness of Books

From October 28 to November 15, we invite the Bookshare community and book lovers all over the world to share their favorite books and the role these books have played in their lives. Our goal is to raise awareness of the importance of books and access to them for all, including people with disabilities.

Do you have a favorite book? Did it touch you, teach you, or make you laugh or cry?

Maybe you have a favorite character who spoke to you, like Harry Potter, Anne Frank, Atticus Finch, or Percy Jackson. Or maybe a literary world swept you away: Middle Earth, Narnia, outer space, World War II battlefields, or ancient Greece. Or perhaps a biography of Martin Luther King or Malala inspired you. For others, a practical book with career advice or academic support may have opened the door to new opportunities.

We Want to Hear from You

We encourage you to share your favorite book and what it means to you. Complete a short form on the Bookshare website or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #BooksBeloved. We are posting the submissions on our website so you can learn which books have touched others and why.

“Books have changed my life because today I am as smart as Captain Nemo, as adventurous as Ned Land, a more motivated person with Simon Sinek, and I can survive the wild with Gary Paulsen.” –Justin Novello, South Carolina

“Books offer escapism, enjoyment, and fulfillment. I have read seven books so far this year and that never would have happened without Bookshare.” – Jessica Pinto, New Mexico