Tuesday, August 3, 2010

On reading books

Over the past few months I have taken to reading books again. Not because I estranged myself from this activity out of want, but because I was burnt-out from reading course/university related stuff. Apart from reading books for pleasure, things like doing laundry and buying groceries also suffered. I believe the ladies at my local Tim Horton's started to think I actually live on green-tea and Timbits, and owned only 1 pair of pants and 2 shirts.

Now that I am back to my normal self: looking for work, wearing more than just 2 shirts, enjoying life, and reading like my life depended on it. I find myself asking how can anyone not read books. I took to the streets of Toronto to ask this (in other words I asked my friends who are not big readers), and got the following responses:

1. its boring
2. haven't found something I like
3. I do read...just not a lot

all the responses I got were variations on the above 3. All broke my heart.

The reason they broke my heart is because I know there is a book for just about anyone out there. For example, I have never heard one disappointed remark about 'Lamb' by Christopher Moore. I must have distributed my copy to over 20 people by now, and everyone fell in love.

Books like Lamb are what keeps me going, and thanks to friends suggestions I have learned to love Dean Koontz and Neil Gaiman, just as much as I love Terry Pratchett. I also always think that if only that person who doesn't read found the right book they would become instant "readers". A few day's ago I stumbled on a few books by Malcolm Gladwell, and I wanted to share a few of my thoughts about Outliers (in case you might be looking for a fun read).

Although it might seem from my list above, that I stick to fiction, truth be told I like both, and when I see one I think I might like I definitely grab it. This was the case with Gladwell's Outliers, and I devoured it in a day.

So for those who might not like fiction books, Outliers is a fun and crazy read. I still can't stomach how our society screws people over, and how some people are really really lucky. But what is even more crazy is that for the first time in my life I believe that the year you were born-in does matter, and that people are not just gifted: they work at their skill. Specifically, they work crazy hard for 10 000 hours, which is when the human brain magically decides it knows what its doing and makes you an expert at your chosen task.

Simply put, Outliers is like my non-fiction counterpart to Moore's Lamb, and I hope (as I know due to its popularity at the library) more people read it. So if you have any of the above 3 excuses or a combination, check out Outliers or Lamb. Neither will disappoint and both will delight.

Unit my next post I fare you goodbye

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