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Laura Coryton shouts about the power of books

Speak Up: Books are all about being heard!

Books give us power. They boost our mental health, have the unparalleled power to transport us rapidly through time and space, they can reveal our deepest desires and fears and effortlessly teach us new, unique ways to think and feel. They empower our lives in so many amazing ways. For me, one of the most important gifts the wonderful world of books gives us all is the crucial ability to be heard. Here’s why that’s so important.

For centuries (literally!) books were written from a painfully similar (often male, white and privileged) perspective. These books tended to repeat the same narratives, assumptions and stories, and built on the accepted belief that you had to look a certain way to have an opinion and to deserve being listened to. None of this was necessarily malicious or the plot of some evil genius overlord (although that would make it a bit cooler, right?) it just happened because it had always happened! Traditions are scary because they’re pretty difficult to challenge and never change overnight. But when only some voices are heard, most get left in the shadows.

Today, all of this is changing in the most brilliant way. 2020 is a great year to be a book lover, because authors are just beginning to diversify (ooow, ahhh). The more diverse authors become, the more perspectives that are amplified, stories we can understand and the more complete our painting of the real world becomes. When a variety of voices are heard, we all grow, learn and connect: everyone wins.

So, this March, speak up about your story, experiences, passions and fears. Your words are powerful. While we are beginning to listen to a wider variety of voices, we have a loooong way to go! You can help to propel the world of books forward and to express your reality in 2020. Listen to others, be confident, speak up and be heard! x

Follow Laura @LauraCoryton