Neither atomization nor division are long-term benefits for a thriving society. One of the best ways to decrease the gap between people is to strengthen the connection between them through emotional and intellectual interaction. Human bonds made through real-life connections and face-to-face conversation allow for deeper mutual understanding and respect. In-person debates are a source of great benefit for people willing to take part in them. Just to name a few: Resolution of Conflict, Greater Empathy, Emotional Control, A Broader View of the World. According to Merriam-Webster a debate is a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about something. It takes two to make a change… but it takes just one to find the other.
Today, science tells us that the core of everything that we see can be traced to:
The place where we store and share most of these words is called “Books.” We humans started off with just a couple of stories which made up just a couple of books. Today, we have around 134 021 533 book titles.
History teaches us that knowledge has always been linked to power. Priests had sole dominion over the illiterate “common people.” Astronomers who predicted the movement of stars gave way to countless inventions and revolutions, alchemists knew how to handle metals, scientists could calculate the power of atomic bombs and so on. Knowledge was so valuable that it was often kept secret, or hijacked. Today, some of the knowledge we’ve produced is in our pockets or lying on our bookshelves.
Fast forward to recent history, and Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press combined with this brand new phenomenon we call “the Internet” has given way to the total democratization of knowledge.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” - I. Asimov
The knowledge we have that is lying around on dusted shelves is there. Printed. Waiting.
As a form of learning reading is not better than listening.
Reading is a very new way of learning and gaining knowledge that not everyone enjoys or processes in the same way. Since the dawn of time, knowledge was passed on through stories that people told one another. Although reading can be a very powerful and efficient way of gathering knowledge for many, listening to stories and ideas can be just as powerful. One must discover the way one learns most effectively and implement this way over all others. Today, in 2021 we still need to talk with one another to gain better understanding of the other person. Much can also be communicated nonverbally (i.e., through our actions, and behavior towards others). Deconstructing the stigma around those of us who prefer listening over reading, and bridging the gap between the listeners and readers is paramount to not social unity but a richer and more diverse abundance of global wisdom and knowledge.
Different people learn best through different methods. Some prefer podcasts, audiobooks and stories over text. Acknowledging this can help us embrace differences so we all can learn that despite our differences we all can and should talk with one another. Listeners with readers and vice-versa.
Talking is another means of spreading information. In the XVII century, the birth of coffeehouses enabled people of different social statuses to exchange ideas. ”[…] coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: a coffeehouse provides patrons with a place to congregate, talk, read, write, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups. (1)” for example: “Café Procope in 1686 still exists today and was a popular meeting place of the French Enlightenment; Voltaire, Rousseau, and Denis Diderot frequented it, and it is arguably the birthplace of the Encyclopédie, the first modern encyclopedia.(2)
Today reading paper books is not as popular as in the past. Due to widespread use of the internet, e-books, the fast world pace and multitudes of other media, paper books are becoming something more private and rarely taken to book clubs. It’s more common to talk about books on social media. Unfortunately, not everyone wants to participate in such monologues, nor does everyone want to create a YouTube chanel.
Getting together in one physical place can play a huge part in forming healthy communities and societies, and books can be a great basis for this.
A healthy community requires fostering bonds, feeling and giving respect, trust, confidence, knowledge and connection. All of these elements combined greatly improve any community. We are social animals, and therefore need self-improvement just as much as improvement in our overall global community.
Whether you listen or read, give yourself time. It’s not a competition. It’s not a sprint. It’s not a marathon.
We all have different capacities to learn. We all learn certain things only at certain periods of our lives.
No one single person can know everything. We live in a specialization era which brings us abundance but knowing unrelated things is just as important.
Wisdom is a needed pillar of a peaceful world, and it can also come from connections with people, not only from books.
A book read by one person, sometimes should wait decades to fall into the hands of another, until he or she is ready for its ideas. The extent to which a book can encapsulate knowledge and wisdom is priceless.
Many readers still value printed books. The smell, the pleasure of turning pages, tangible objects that are there regardless of electricity.
Reading a paper book can increase our tranquility due to lack of distractions (in comparison with reading a book on a mobile phone, computer or tablet).
Reading a paper book can also be seen easily and can influence others’ subconscious. Paper copies as tangible objects can be exchanged.
Instead of letting valuable knowledge and wisdom collect dust on our bookshelves, we all would benefit much more by using and sharing that wisdom with others.
Reselling books does not solve the issue, because not all books are worth reselling. For example, some books are too cheap, or some people simply don’t have time or desire to sell them. Real change can be brought about by a shift in mindset about what it is to read and share books and thus improve society and culture. Letting go of a book doesn’t mean never seeing it again.
Books can bring different ideas to different people. We often perceive them through our own characters and lives which are so vastly complicated. Books should become a medium for ideas, they should gather them like a snowball rolling down a mountain. Implementing new thoughts into a circular system would bring even more ideas to others, rather than in the existing economy where the fate of every book is a dusty shelf.
“We are of the opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read.” – Jules Verne
In the old times, a book was something of colossal value (compared to a car nowadays). A book was written and copied by hand. It was not economically valuable to make marks or write in it.
Today, a book can be printed and reprinted in millions of copies and multiple reprints, and is often quite cheap. Circling, highlighting, and marking what we consider to be important, and adding ideas should be a valuable skill utilized by many readers, especially if they want to share the book with others.
Recordings, quotes, notes, by everyone that has read a particular copy of a book should be available in order to connect, discuss and learn within circular economy with other readers.
Img1: page with quotes from Marc Aurelius’ Meditations
“A book read by a thousand different people is a thousand different books.” - A. Tarkovsky
Sharing books is letting others read them and discover the knowledge and wisdom within. A book that touches us, makes us scream and jump up and down in excitement begs to be shared, given, read by others.
When a book is collected and stored for decades, nobody knows what will end up happening with it after the owner’s death, hence knowledge about their titles or location is lost. As long as the books are not overly expensive nor bring value on a daily basis, they would be exponentially more valuable if released and shared with others once read.
Storing books for years without ever looking into them is like a tree that falls in the forest where no one is there to hear it. Real wisdom is knowing the WHY behind letting go, and sharing the enriching experience with someone else.
When buying a book, one should pay for the knowledge and quick access to it - not for the paper to store.
Keeping books on shelves can generate an excessive need for them which in turn - as the basics of economy tell us - generate a supply spike. We produce more than needed. More paper. More trees.
Opening bookshelves to others changes it into what we call Hamaik (The term is derived from Hawaiian: hama meaning “open”, and ike meaning “knowledge”).
Real wealth comes from books that have been read and reread by others once the reader feels he or she has gleaned the desired wisdom from it. The mere accumulation of books and having a huge space for them does not necessarily signify wealth.
In an era where millions of books are being published every year, it’s difficult to find value in them. Money is being put as the central myth for people’s lives thus books are often printed for the sole reason of making money.
This makes finding a valuable read more difficult and we are bombarded by reading recommendations on the internet.
Is there any better recommendation than giving a paper book from hand to hand to another person? Lending books brings responsibility and possibility for critique or a debate.
This increases the value of recommendations and filters out bad reads.
Schopenhauer tells us in one of his great essays three (among others) key things:
1 - Think about what you’ve read 2 - Read primary texts 3 - Bad books are poison
Books still cost money to produce. In the world where inflation is more common and deflation seems to be the enemy, more and more people will have trouble buying books. Sharing books instead of buying and selling them can help with this.
Nobody needs to buy every single book on the planet.
We believe that sharing paper books and their “gems” of ideas is the most effective and rewarding way to create meaningful communities, form lifelong bonds, and open up conversation, discussion, debate worldwide. This will in turn allow for the fostering of mutual respect and empathy, and improve our moral, cultural, and social standards. It would also help to decrease waste and put our books to a better use. In this way, books can gain quality over time, and unique bookshelves can open up all around the globe, initiating a faster circulation of knowledge within a given society. In short, we can give the books - and the people who read them - a brand new perspective and a brand new life.
Main question that keeps rising:
What is someone steals my book?
Every book that is released should have a label or code or information on the inside that it belongs to the open knowledge idea and should not be resold. Every book is released by an individual, by you. If you release a book you have to agree with above written statements, some of them are:
If you agree with those statement and see that in a long run, the world we will be living in is the one where we share knowledge without restrains, you won’t hesitate to share books. Keeping a book just for the sake of couple of dollars evokes pity, means that the value, wisdom, joy that the book brought was quite low, not worth the money.
There will always be people with bad intentions but this is not a reason against working on a better culture for all of us.
In Iraq people say:
The reader does not steal and the thief does not read.
This is unwritten, common knowledge. Let’s all work towards that understanding.
We are in a transition period towards a state when people acknowledge the relation between knowledge and wealth & well-being in a society.
Depending on your profile you may prefer to do different things:
YouTalky let’s you record thoughts and add audios on the platform. You can connect your recordings directly to the book or to the physical copy you are holding. This recordings can be accessed when sharing a book with label (qr code), by entering the book’s code or by entering the platform and searching for it manually.
YouTalky shows all recent recordings from all the books people have released. Those recordings can be commented by other people and those comments can be commented too. This creates platform for everyone that prefers listening for any reason. Readers generate recordings so that books and ideas can reach out to more people.
In this case, YouTalky let’s you add your book to the system so that everyone on the internet can see it’s approximate location. In order to add a book you need to create a bookshelf where this book could be found or picked up (upon previous contact).
Bookshelf can be a shelf in a coffee place, your private house or a bench in the park. Depending on where they are you can meet with people to give them the book but this is not necessary (you can just put it on public shelves).
It is not necessary to release books. You may just want to borrow it or listen to it.
As you can see there is a high flexibility to fit the needs of everyone.
We are all different.
If you are the owner of a business place - coffee shop, ceramic shop, restaurant, bookstore, coworking space, cinema, etc. Any place where people could come to pick up and/or leave their books, you can register your bookshelf.
Every bookshelf can have logo and has to have a location.
You can create multiple bookshelves if you own a network of places.
Releasing a book means being ready to give it to another person. Once the book is released, it starts to be visible to the people nearby. It has a code that should be written or printed inside it to help further exchanges.
Reach out and send feedback. Tell me what you think. What do you need and what needs to be changed.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Tell me about your insights and leave a comment - you are most welcome to send me a private message with your comments!
Edits: 1. 7th of September 2021 - edits made by Bob Ross to bring vivid English language to play.