An Embarrassment of Riches

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island, and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.” – Walt Disney

Some of my clearest memories from childhood and early adulthood are of books that I read or that were read to me. Books are, to me, one of the wonders of the world.

And I love the places where books reside: at home, online, in brick-and-mortar bookstores, and in the local library. Anywhere we can browse books is a good place.

As a junior in college, shortly after I’d gotten married, I needed a part-time job. 

Because of my love for books and reading, I applied for an open clerk’s position at the Orem Public Library. Initially, I didn’t get the job; I was the #2 candidate. But then, because of several circumstances, serendipitously, I did. I loved being surrounded by books, music, and people who were well-read and interesting. 

It was a rich environment. I was exposed to books I otherwise wouldn’t have heard of, much less read, by authors like Wendell Berry, Ivan Doig, E.F. Schumacher, and Wallace Stegner.

This week, April 3-9, is National Library Week, a time to celebrate our nation’s libraries, library workers’ contributions and promote library use and support. I couldn’t let this week go by without acknowledgment because of my fond memories of Orem Public Library and my lifelong love of reading. 

So, in honor of libraries and reading, I thought I would share with you some books that are dear to me that perhaps I haven’t shared before. 

Reading is a transformational experience.
 It can transport us to faraway places, educate us about pivotal times in history, or give us the tools to grow as individuals and professionals. 

Libraries, with the primary purpose of housing books and creating space for people to read, think, and create, are magical, a cache of unparalleled treasure, an embarrassment of riches. To celebrate libraries this week, I challenge you to pick up a new book or an old favorite. Stop by your local library and talk to a librarian about their favorite books. 

Whether you visit in person or virtually, your library can connect you to the resources you need to explore a new world. Now is a perfect time to check out your library’s website or for more information.

What are your experiences with libraries? What do you love about them?

One groundbreaking book that I have recently read is Radical Candor. It explores the complexity of giving critical feedback, even when it’s hard. The author, Kim Scott, and fellow Co-Founder and CEO of Just Work, Trier Bryant, are the guests on this week’s podcast. We tackle the issue of bias, especially how our language choices can affect people and the difference between bias, prejudice, and bullying.

Our conversation goes deep on how caring for others can go hand-in-hand with challenging them directly and how casual word choices take a heavy toll on marginalized people over time. I encourage you to join us.

What books are you reading now? What books do you love?

Happy reading!

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