“You cannot open a book without learning something.” — Confucius
Is there anything more powerful than a book? What else has the power to educate, spread the imagination, foster fantasies, and inspire change? What else can detach your feet from this earthly world and transport you to another alternate universe? And, conversely, what else can firmly ground you to your world, community, family and self by imparting useful information and new ideas or by inspiring action?
In a recent post, Steph at People Do Things with Their Lives discussed the importance of books to a well-rounded childhood. She talked of the importance of books in her own childhood as well as the importance of books for children in developing countries, particularly those in Africa.
“Forty percent of children in Africa do not attend school. That’s an entire continent, not a single country! In classrooms fortunate enough to staff teachers 10-20 students share a single textbook… …[C]harity organizations like Books for Africa and Book Aid International do diligent work to provide books for children in more than a dozen African countries. Opportunity begins with education. Whether we contribute to four star charity organizations that help globally, or promote literacy in our own communities, or simply read to our kids before they fall asleep, it’s comforting to realize we can change a kid’s life one book at a time.”
For as long as I can remember, I have been an avid reader. I have been fascinated by the way books can inspire empathy, spark motivation, calm the soul, and teach new lessons. Yes, books certainly do have the ability to transform us. Books open minds. Books open imaginations. Books open doors of opportunity. Books change lives.
Books That Have Changed My Life:
1. A New Earth: Awakening Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle taught me the importance of focusing on the present in order to learn from the past and strive for the future.
3. The Thousand Secret Senses by Amy Tan exemplifies my belief in reincarnation.
4. Oh, the Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss. No matter how many times I read this book to my sons, I will never cease to be inspired to jump in, take a risk, and go for it. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
5. American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert D. Putnam and David Campbell was instrumental to research conducted for the book that I am currently writing.
6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Like Rubin, I am a former lawyerand an aspiring non-fiction writer (though I suppose she is no longer “aspiring”), so I am particularly intrigued and inspired by Rubin’s career change from lawyer to writer. I am also drawn to Rubin’s straight-forward, practical advice on intentionally creating happiness in one’s life.
7. How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead by Ariel Gore was a gift from my husband and it changed my life, not so much for the information contained in the book, but through the sentiment that lay behind the gift. With this book, my husband said to me “I believe in you. You can do this.”
“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” — Henry David Thoreau
What books have changed your life?
Linking up with Stasha’s Monday Listicles with the topic of (you guessed it!) books.