Reading is perhaps one of best, if not the very best, commodities and widely accessible resources we have as a people, and therefore so is World Book Day
Mental health and the recognition of its facets and depth has never been as prevalent as now, so when you consider how strong the scientific research is in favour of how reading can help mental wellbeing – by reducing your heart rate and thus stress levels, easing muscle tension, and wholly altering your state of mind – World Book Day this year is surely a campaign more important than ever before
World Book Day annually takes place today. This is because the Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés wanted to call for a day which would recognize the life and career of one of his greatest heroes, fellow Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who still is widely regarded as the greatest ever writer of the Spanish language. Cervantes death date was 23rd April, which also marks many other great writers’ birth and death dates, including William Shakespeare who passed away on exactly the same day as Cervantes, 23rd April 1616.
The first World Book Day was celebrated in 1995 and has been going strong ever since. It’s a day to celebrate all things books, especially your favourites! One of my personal favourite novels is The Shining by Stephen King. King has always been associated with horror, and I suppose that’s justified. But many people overlook (pun intended) the fact that much of King’s stories contain some real character depth and interpersonal relationships, which can often be extremely intense and moving.
The Shining, for instance, for me, isn’t necessarily primarily a horror. It could be considered a psychological thriller or drama about what happens when an alcoholic becomes victim to cabin fever. The paranormal presence in the hotel is an effective way to convey this cabin fever process Jack Torrance undertakes, but I suspect many readers agree that a good argument can be made that the paranormal activity can merely be considered a metaphor for Jack’s psychological transformation into illness. Indeed he knows he’s becoming unhealthy at the behest of cabin fever, as there is a point near the end of the novel where he tries to cry out from underneath his new, murderous exterior to tell his would-be murdered son to leave before it’s too late.
Why I talk about this book in particularly is because cabin fever is something many of us have had to endure over the past many months, and, more troubling still, domestic abuse, so it’s an interesting insight into cabin fever and the effects it can have on relationships, especially if alcoholism is involved. The Shining is an example of a great novel, and certainly one to celebrate, as the book often gets inaccurately judged by its better-known cover, that of the film by Stanley Kubrick, which told a rather different story.