Are you a reader? You know what I mean, beyond the slew of texts, social media updates by friends and families or quick hit news and entertainment bits. Are you reaching out and reading something more?

Reading, the act of leaning into a story or pursuing an answer to a question has benefits intellectually and psychologically. Whether we realize it or not, we search for novelty, which has led to the somewhat dubious entertainment news documenting celebrity lives. While I won’t get into that, I would like to suggest that we challenge ourselves beyond what is served up to us and go looking for something more substantial.

How restlessness sparked a different kind of reading

I read a lot, have always done so, since I was a rather quiet child and books transported me into the adventures of others. As an adult, my interests continued to be fiction with a smattering of non-fiction if I had an interest I wanted to explore.  Fiction provided both an escape and offered settings or story lines from which I could learn. However, in 2010, after a long series of life events had pushed and pulled me, I was restless.

Looking for more meaning and searching for greater life truths at home and work, I felt the need to widen my circle of friends. My current circle didn’t share my emerging interest in exploring and discussing ideas and thoughts about spirituality, or of achieving greater meaning and connection both personally and in the wider world. My life experiences at that time were so different from most my age, that I had no one to delve into some of the deeper questions about life and loss, changing ideas about self and capabilities. They were supportive, but our paths diverged.

That search indeed brought new friends into my life and with them new authors and new perspectives.  Soon, non-fiction books became my staple and I read just as voraciously, finding that my curiosity continued to grow and the questions along with it.

Reading “those kind of books”

Now, I find myself curious about why people don’t read non-fiction at all. I am surprised with the statement “I don’t read those kinds of books”, and wonder, well…why? Of course, some of “those kinds of books” are under self help, and perhaps they see it as a sign of weakness or even pseudo science. Too bad really, because they have given me insights not only into my behaviour, but that of others.

I also find, that sometimes there is some bit of knowledge that I tuck away and later pull out when encountering a situation that can be helped by what I have read. Or, I find that an idea or theory is useful for someone else and I can put them onto their own patch of self discovery.

These days, as others join me on the path of trying to make sense of life and its many challenges, I am happy to provide some book titles that have impacted my life. Some are recent finds while others have had a treasured place on my bookshelves for years.

Reading. Sharing is caring.

If you are looking for something to read that may benefit you in your personal or professional life here are a couple of reads for your consideration. And please, if you have any recommendations I would appreciate you leaving a comment. I am always happy to add to my list.

Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book provided insight into my nature and helped me see myself in a new and positive way.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. One of her first books and the beginning of the conversation about shame, vulnerability and growing empathy.

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. A great book if you are wondering about how success really happens and what you can do to enhance your chances. (I am currently reading this and when I began to feel the fear gremlins around being good enough, found it to be helpful.)

The Culture Code The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle.  I am also currently reading this book and am finding the ideas of how to create successful groups interesting. Great examples of what works and what doesn’t. Whatever kind of group you find yourself in – work, hobby, or volunteer, I suspect you will find some nuggets you can put to work.