The Importance of Reading Books. The functions of the books. This theme raises the following questions: How important is the book? Why do we have to read a book?

These questions have their reason to be because the programmed death of the traditional book in front of the NTIC has been pronounced since the 80s: “in the year 2000, when will be implanted a communication network searchable in all the points of the globe and with to ensure rapid access for all to a considerable part of the essential knowledge, the [books] will have suffered the fate of brontosaurs “. [Girard, 1994]

Thirty years after this promise, the book’s resistance has thwarted all the prognoses of its survival and viability, leading at the same time to a change of concern: “[…] the problem is not whether the [books ] will disappear, but when “[Lahary, 1994, p 78].

If this is so, it is because of the book, although offering services similar to those of the Internet, fulfill other specific functions that allow it to position itself and resist the invasion of the NICTs.

On this, even before answering the main question of our presentation: The Importance of reading books. What are the functions of the book? It would be wise to try to define what a book is – then we will get into the thick of it.Functions of the Book

I – Definition of the Book

A book is a written document forming a unit and conceived as such, consisting of pages linked to each other. Its function is to be a support of the writing, allowing the diffusion and the conservation of texts of varied nature.

On a material level, a book is a volume of linked pages, presenting one or more texts under a common title page. Its shape induces a linear organization (pagination, chapters, etc.). A book generally includes tools that promote access to its content: table of contents, summary, index. There is a wide variety of books depending on the genre, the recipients, as well as the method of manufacture and formats, or according to the uses. With rare exceptions, such as the artist’s book, a book is published in several copies by a publisher, as evidenced by the elements of identification that it necessarily entails.

A work of the mind conceived by an author, the book serves as an interface with a reader. Cultural object related to human history, it allows transmitting meaning according to a particular material form, beyond space and time. For the reader, “a book is an extension of memory and imagination”.

What are the functions of the book?

II – Importance of Reading Books


The role of the book is often reduced to that of information container. However, one reads for purposes of edification (the Bible), to escape (detective novel or enigma), to learn (a book of history general public), for professional reasons (book on the elementary practices of accounting), for the simple pleasure of reading (in its preferred position and time): “I do not see my readers at night in their bed having virtual readings” declared a librarian [Diament, 1994, p 10]; in some cases the book is used to decorate the library of the show, as Mispelblom makes clear about the unconvincing line of the border between service and product: “(…) we buy a book less to touch it than for what it reads, while a collection of encyclopedia usually serves to adorn a personal library “[Mispelblom, 1995, p 122].

In the following lines, we will explore properly the functions of the book and the importance of reading books.

1 – Aesthetic Function and Social Enhancement

This is the case when a collection of encyclopedias is used to adorn the salon’s library; but also the intellectual who likes to have his library of books, to count the number of books read, to be next to his book heritage when taking pictures, interviews etc.

2 – Social Functions

Reading in libraries, contrary to an accepted idea, is certainly an “individual” act, but not a “solitary” act because it is done under the careful emulation of the other readers: the readers who lack courage, the lonely students or who seek to arm themselves with courage in the process of revision, willingly frequent libraries or other meeting places to learn and read together.

To illustrate this socialization by reading Jacques Salomé teaches us that “a book always has two authors: the one who writes it and the one who reads it” According to Marcel Proust, “every reader is, when he reads, his own reader of himself “and that” reading is a friendship “, which seems to confirm Tahar Ben Jelloun:” a library is a guest room “.

3 – Pedagogical Importance of Reading Books

The knowledge that we do not complete every day diminishes“: Chinese proverb. Virgil, a Latin poet, states: “we get tired of everything except to learn” and Jules Renard to say: “each of our readings leaves a seed that germinates“.

“Reading dispels dryness, activates the faculties, decrypts the intelligence and liberates the imagination” according to Antoine Albalat, who continues: “a book that is left without having extracted something is a book that one did not read.

As for Jouhandeau, “a book is excusable only as long as it learns something”.

4 – the Book, Source of Life and Happiness

Paraphrasing Descartes, “the authors publish, therefore exist“:

My books are there, are only there. This is the only place where my work exists in its continuity. In the moments when I do not publish, I go to the libraries to reassure me: there I am alive, there the author does not die” testified an author [BORZEIX, 1998]

Simone de BEAUVOIR translates the happiness associated with books and reading in these terms: “I thought that as long as there were books, happiness was guaranteed to me“. And Jules Renard to confess: “When I think of all the books I have left to read, I am certain of being happy again.” The happiness of reading continues with Gaston Bachelard who reveals to us that “paradise, to be sure, is only an immense library”; while Cicéron, Jacques Attali and Alain (Emile-Auguste Chartier) remind us successively that:

If you have a library and a garden, you have everything you need“;

To contemplate one’s library is to dream that one cannot die before having read all the books that fill it“;

… the happiness of reading is so unpredictable that a trained reader is surprised at it“.

5 – Security Function

In the Maslow pyramid, the need for security occupies an important place in the scale of values.

However, it is widely accepted that the information and/or document gives the holder a sense of security: “having” becomes synonymous with “knowledge”. This phenomenon is perceptible in the field of photocopying; we make copies that we store, waiting to throw them later. The information is identified with the object that conveys it, that is to say, the document and the possession of the photocopy are confused with the knowledge one would like to have with the information. A comparable phenomenon appears with the uses of online electronic information, which has been described as a “printer syndrome” [Varloot, 1983, p 586]. Most users of an online database query terminal require a screen copy printer to keep a paper trail of the query, even if they request the printing of references offline.

School children realize after the fact that the weekend was too short to be worth the hassle of so many books and other school materials that they will not finally read at home.

6 – Heritage Function

My property “my book” is sometimes more rewarding than ours (the internet).

The amateur of beautiful old books who wants to build a library worthy of the name likes to spend time discovering, contemplating, evaluating, take in hand the precious works, feel them, smell the smell of paper, caress the backs, hear the small sounds turning the pages … it’s a real love story that binds him to the book.

It is as much an intellectual quest as a sensual pleasure.

7 – The Therapeutic Importance of Reading Books

The book contains a real therapeutic function as evidenced by the following quotes:

The time to read, like the time to love, expands the time to live,” said Daniel Pennac,

I have never had sorrow that an hour of reading has dissipated” adds Montesquieu, while for Paul Désalmand “reading as love is the stone to sharpen the soul.

As for Emmanuel Kant “, a funny reading is as useful to the health as the exercise of the body“; for Claude Le Roy “reading is a real moment of breathing

8 – the Book: For the General Culture and the Knowledge of the World:

This importance of reading books is perhaps the best known:

Any replay is a discovery“, says Calvino. “I have accomplished delicious journeys, embarked on a word,” said H Balzac. Bobin Christian uses the metaphor of A4 paper to define his country: “my country is twenty-one centimeters wide, twenty-nine long: a sheet of white paper“. Amélie Nothomb and François Mauriac to affirm respectively: “we read to discover a vision world“; “Reading, an open door to an enchanted world

9 – the Book: For Escape and Emotion

The association book-reading and escape-emotion are more to demonstrate how the following quotes prove:

So many pages, so many books that were our sources of emotion, and that we reread to study the quality of adverbs or the property of adjectives! “, exclaimed Emil Michel Cioran.

Marcel Proust reminds us: “It is better to dream one’s life than to live it“. As for Julien Green: “a library is the crossroads of all the dreams of humanity” and “a book is a window through which one escapes “.

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