You can learn something from everyone



 I love to read. Books of every genre, magazines, blogs, web content and of course newspapers. But books, oh my books, letters on paper are my true love. In fact, one of my favorite fantasies is being locked in a Barnes & Noble all by myself with simultaneous access to their all I can eat bakery and hot coffee for a week or two. Pure paradise.

I am greatly influenced by what I read. Books have the very power to alter my mood. I have to be very careful what I read. If I read a book that is sad or depressing in nature, I find myself getting the blues. Likewise, if a book is full of hope, I find myself getting inspired. When a book introduces me to a person of powerful character such as Atticus Finch in my favorite forever and ever book, “To Kill a Mockingbird” I want to become a better person. In that sense, books to me are also magical and miraculous.

After having children, the luxury of reading anything beside a periodical or the web has become difficult. I cannot get lost in uninterrupted pleasure finishing a book from first to last page. So, I often find myself reading three or four books at a time and taking much too long to complete any of them. And, sadly, not getting as much out of any of them.

My husband, Noel, introduced me to a wonderful solution years ago “books on tape” which now for the world are called digital audible books. While audible books don’t give me the same reading experience as a real paper book they do offer me added benefits. I can listen to them anywhere. A boring drive turns into an adventure. While doing laundry, yard work or any mundane mindless act, I can escape into a whole other world and be done with that chore before I know it.

My favorite listens are historical fiction, but I also love non-fiction and biographies. As, I mentioned I am greatly impacted by what I read. When it comes to books that provide me the opportunity to learn and grow, the audible medium just doesn’t cut it. For one thing, when I am reading this kind of book I never do it in one sitting. I like to highlight and go back to portions that I need to think about later or re-read to get the deeper meaning.

Last week on where I am a member, the company had a $4.99 sale on general interest, personal growth and societal issues books. I could not make a choice. The findings and opinions of the authors were set in stone from their “black” or “white” titles. I’ve never liked a one-sided argument even if it is me doing it.  When I find myself doing this or am held prisoner by another doing it to me I think of a famous Will Roger’s quote, “everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.”


However, I prefer to live my life more the way H. Jackson Brown, Jr. suggested, “Every person you meet knows something you don’t; learn from them.”  And, I prefer my books to be that way too.

Here is a small sample of book titles that I will probably never read. If you do though, let me know what you thought that way I can learn from you:

Connected the Surprising Power of Social Networks and How They Change Our Lives.


You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You’re Deluding Yourself




The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don’t Trust Anyone Under 30)


Getting Smart: How Digital Learning is Changing America




Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America


The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work




The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement


The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School




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