Although the earliest written work was more a scroll of parchment than an actual book, books in some form or another have been around since about 2,700 BC. The development of the printing press in the 15th century helped to bring the printed word to the masses. Today, you may be more used to reading on a computer screen or electronic reading device, but books still have an important place in our world.

The Practicality of Books

Most public and independent schools still have a well stocked library, and many students, teachers and researchers simply find it easier to look for a book in a library, than trying to find information online. Much of the information needed at schools simply can't be reproduced as easily or as clearly on the small screen of a reading device, such as maps, charts and tables. And of course, it usually costs nothing to join and use your local library, whether in the school, university or in the community. Many students simply can't afford to download electronic books, making the library a practical solution. A library or bookshop usually has knowledgeable and informative staff who can point you to what you are looking for easily and quickly.

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Benefits of Reading Books

Of course, reading books is a source of getting knowledge, whether it's something you want to know more about, or a subject you are discovering for the first time. Reading improves the memory as well as the vocabulary, can increase concentration and focus and has been proven to be an excellent way to relax, reduce stress and anxiety and simply to escape from the real world for a time. And if you read books regularly, you are also more likely to be a better writer - something that can benefit you for the rest of your life, whether it is writing an email, press release or novel. Your local bookshop or library can become a meeting place, a place to meet other book lovers and to exchange ideas or information.

The Appeal of Books

But if you love books, you probably know just how books can be appealing and enjoyable in a way that electronic books just can't. A book such as an illustrated travel guide from the 19th century, or an illustrated Medieval religious book can be as much a work of art as it is a book. Books can be collected and displayed too, and whether your passion is for illustrated children's books or books on art, they can be displayed and appreciated in your home. And many books can become extremely rare and valuable, making hunting down hard to find first editions a hobby in itself. Ask almost any book lover and they will tell you there is nothing quite like the thrill of walking into a second hand bookshop, not quite knowing what you might find. Electronic reading devices have their place in today's society, but can never quite replace the printed book. Book fairs are still popular and are the ideal place to meet authors, publishers and find out what is happening in the book industry.