Monthly Archives: November 2017

Books: The Essential Tool for Education

Over the centuries of man’s existence, the one constant in disseminating knowledge has been the printed page.  Many consider the printing press to be the most important invention in human history, possibly outranked only by the wheel and the spoken language.  For the ability to record thoughts, ideas and facts has made it possible to retain ideas and facts, and transmit them not just to other persons but across time…in fact the written word is the first real “time machine” that has been created.

There have been frequent times in our history when people have thought books have become outmoded.  People felt that way when the radio and telephone came into common use.  The idea recurred when the television became our main means of entertainment and communication.  And today many felt that electronic and digital media have rendered books obsolete.  Yet in fact experience has shown repeatedly that books remain essential to the retention of human knowledge, facts and ideas.  And when batteries fail, systems are hacked, and plastics and metals melt we find ourselves returning to that old standby, the printed page when we want to obtain knowledge, transmit messages or thoughts, or for simple entertainment.  My personal favorite gift to people I care for is a gift card to Barnes and Noble.  I give them because I like to encourage people to read and increase their knowledge and awareness.  This year I will purchase them with a Groupon coupon for 10% off.

I will also buy books using Groupon coupons for up to 75% off during the coming holiday season.  This is an opportunity to get some of the latest works, as well as literary classics and reference works.  Indeed, one of the best gifts one can give a person is a collection of the best reference works for future use, including a dictionary, atlas and thesaurus.  While all can be found online, it’s good to have printed copies of each on hand at home.

One way to encourage people to read is by having them actively participate in regular word games.  Crossword puzzles and games like Scrabble can be found at Barnes and Noble; they are excellent ways to increase one’s vocabulary and knowledge and are great forms of entertainment.  Many instructors have their students participate in these games as part of their class teaching methods.