Tag Archives: World Book Day

No Frigate Like a Book

Two days ago, as book lovers and avid readers all over the world celebrated World Book Day (April 23), I was reminded of this poem by Emily Dickinson:

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry —
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human Soul.”

No Frigate Like a Book

I took part in an essay writing contest in my elementary school (I think this was in 5th or 6th grade), and I distinctly remember that the topic was the first line of this beautiful poem – “There is no Frigate like a Book.” I don’t have a copy of my essay. I don’t remember who won that contest. What I do remember is that poignant line of poetry that perfectly captures one of the powers of books and stories.

With thanks to my mother who is an avid reader and who encouraged me to read from as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved books. They are an accessible source of knowledge, entertainment and inspiration for anyone who can read.

“There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,…”

Before I traveled outside the Philippines (which happened when I was already an adult), I’ve “visited” sunny California thanks to the Sweet Valley High books. I’ve “time traveled and seen” 18th-century New Orleans with Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. I’ve “walked” along the hot Sahara Desert thanks to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

Because of the (positive) influence of my husband and some friends in fairly recent years, I’ve discovered the joy of reading science fiction and fantasy. On many nights, I’ve found myself fighting to stay awake because I was lost in captivating fantasy worlds such as the virtual utopia called OASIS in Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One, and the Detroit Free Zone (DFZ) of Rachel Aaron’s Nice Dragons Finish Last

“This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human Soul.”

Books do cost money, but nowhere nearly as much as paying for airfare, accommodations and pocket money. For as long as you know how to read and you have the desire to read, there are so many places you can visit and explore with the help of books. If only the Philippines had good (extensive and efficient) public libraries around the country, I can imagine how the lives of many of our country’s poor would be enriched.

When you can’t get on an actual frigate, books are your next best ride. And perhaps, sometimes, books are even a better way to explore and enjoy the many colorful worlds around you.








When Earth Day Meets World Book Day

I just realized that Earth Day (April 22) and World Book Day (April 23) sit right next to each other. Two important celebrations, two causes that are close to my heart and that are so intertwined.

Reading and sharing used books show a love for books and a love for the earth

I love the 2014 Earth Day patches from Powell’s Books 🙂 They talk about the love of used books. Admittedly, I like buying used books because they are a great bargain. But buying, selling and giving used books isn’t just about bargains and deals. They are about giving these books longer lives. When these books get passed on and on, it means less of the earth’s resources are needed to produce more books. It also makes books more affordable, which helps enable more people to read.


Ebooks make it easy and practical to be an eco-friendly reader

I became a Kindle convert a few years ago (but not exclusively, I still buy paper books once in a while). I used to say that I would always prefer the feel, the smell, the art, the experience of a real paper book. Then I saw how easy it was for my husband to get books into his iPad and how convenient it was for him to read when traveling. Now, with my small Kindle Touch, containing several ebooks and easily fitting into my handbag, I would always have a book with me whether I’m on a flight, a long queue or at my daughter’s football training.

Buying ebooks means I don’t need to travel to the store (and use up fuel) to buy my books. I don’t need to have hard-to-find books shipped from one country to another if they are not available locally.

Earth Day and World Book Day are great occasions to commemorate, but they are only reminders. Any day and every day of the year is a perfect day to be kind to the earth and to read a good book.