Do books even matter?
Do books even matter?
I asked myself that question the day Russia invaded Ukraine. And again when Putin put his forces on nuclear alert. And several times before all of that, and since.
This is not to be maudlin or self-indulgent, but as a very real and pertinent question.
Can any art form matter when there is war? Or a pandemic? Or a potential life-threatening diagnosis? Or the many other kinds of individual and collective hurts that occur every day, somewhere in the world, in the lives of many?
The answer I return to, again and again, is YES.
It all matters. And maybe books, stories from around the world, matter even more in these times.
For me, this is because they...
express the astounding depth and breadth of the human experience and the human spirit
connect us in the deepest possible way, at the level of the heart and emotions
allow us to bear witness to one another
reflect our experience and show us another's
educate, enlighten, ease and inspire
take us outside of ourselves, our condition, circumstance, surrounding and/or situation
offer a moment for contemplation, appreciation and compassion
Are books or stories or any other art enough in times like these?
No, but they are one way to remind us of our shared humanity.
And hopefully that will inspire each of us to work toward achieving peace for all in this world, in whatever small or big, individual and collective ways we can.
Here then are some writings if you'd like to explore them (all free, online):
Why do books and stories matter to you, now and always? Do share. I'd truly love to know.
Yours in Book&HumanLove,
Lisa Carter is Founder and Creative Director of Intralingo, helping authors and translators write and readers explore stories. Lisa brings two decades of professional literary experience, including nine books and multiple other pieces published in translation, and nearly as many years of contemplative and compassion practices to her work. Her inclusive, engaged, caring presence inspires people to share their stories, create new ones and feel truly heard.
More, for you.
Afternoon Delights - Free, monthly gatherings online to contemplate a theme, get creative with words, and connect with one another. (Next one: Sun Mar 20 at 4 pm ET. Zoom link to attend will be sent here a day or two in advance.)
Wayfarers Book Club - An opportunity to travel around the world through the pages of a book; pay what you want, starting at $10 per month.
Wayfarers 360° Experience - An intimate, leisurely-paced, six-week group experience to a explore a novel through body, heart and mind, with curiosity and contemplation.
Book Coaching & Editing - Services tailored to your specific needs. Email to inquire.
[Image is My Flowers to Those Who Love Peace © Maria Primachenko, 1983, fair use as a historically significant artwork]