What Makes Books Beautiful

What Makes Books Beautiful


Beautiful Books

Image sourced from The Guardian, 2016


Film and TV adaptations of popular books have been around for decades now. It has not escaped people’s notice that they are repetitive; repetitive, not in production or film style but rather in story.

The film and TV industry have been recycling stories and novels and, in a sense, are working against publishing. These are mostly rebooted because they were popular during their time and have been altered for modern audiences. There are stories out there that are just as relevant in today’s society as they were, say in the 16th century. However, as the years grow on, talents become acknowledged and with innovation and creativity coming out of our ears, ought we not to discover and celebrate those stories we have yet to read?

This year alone, has rebooted the likes of Poldark (by Winston Graham), Dickensian (various novels by Charles Dickens), War & Peace (by Leo Tolstoy) and numerous superhero movies. There is no fault in this and several of the remakes are enjoyable, but with such a wealth of creative voice out there, why do we see the same story again and again?

In many aspects, every film, TV show and book has derived from drawing on what has been seen or read or experienced and so nothing seems to be original; yet everything is.

Writing styles are so vastly different that it is like jumping into someone’s mind and seeing their inner workings. There were roughly 130 million books that were published in the world up until 2010 alone (Google, 2016). This means that there are 130+ million fiction and non-fiction types of written content at our fingertips. It is incredible that there are artistic voices that aren’t being recognised.

My ‘To Read’ list is longer than I can count and I have books that are lain untouched, not out of inconsideration or dislike, but out of pure wanting to read but not having the time to fully enjoy it.

Where do I start? Which genre do I read next? Should I choose non-fiction or fiction? Should this one be read on holiday? Is this book easy to carry? Do I have a ten minute ‘Me’ time?

Our lifestyles have changed with less time to enjoy reading or watching TV when we want to. This is why Netflix has become so incredibly popular; quality TV at anytime we choose. There are those that can read books faster than they can fall asleep, but for others with less time, it can be a challenge.

When walking into a bookshop or looking online, we have a plethora of choice and are inundated with content that is fantastical, informative, rich with ingenious character and yet we are unable to explore and enjoy all of this because of… time?

It can be an intimidating process choosing a book – making time seems to cause the most problems. As we do not have book trailers (the short-lived trend should really come back) book vloggers are taking the stage as reviewers making it an easier choice on which book to read.

For those that love to read or want to become avid readers, here is our advice on how to read more:


  • Create small challenges for yourself – read to page 72, or the next chapter, or 5 pages, or whenever you eat breakfast. Perhaps you want to read one book a month or a book per week, whichever way you challenge yourself, make reading into a game and have that feeling of accomplishment when you ‘win’.
  • Carry your book or eReader with you everywhere because you never know when there is a spare moment to read something.
  • Start replacing your attention on your mobile phone and read instead.
  • Pick up the newspaper or buy a magazine; reading doesn’t always mean long paragraphs.
  • Keep your book by your bed and read when you cannot fall asleep.
  • Perhaps instead of reading you ought to be writing? Writing is a very good way of enhancing your personal development and can even help you in your career.