Why we need to read more books!

I just found a new podcast and I am so damn enthusiastic that I tell people who would never in a million years be interested in it – to listen.

So to prevent me annoying the people in my life with my obscure enthusiasms. I thought, “oh hey, I have a blog, I will annoy my readers instead”. And actually there are quite a few people that I regularly chat with that would be interested in this blog post and the podcast.

It’s called Three Books. The premise being that the host chats with interesting people about the three books that changed them.

This mornings podcast episode was with Johan Hari (the author of Stolen Focus, and The Silent Scream. Both hugely important books of our time.

It’s not a conversation to the author about the book they have just written – as a sort of long form advertisement, which some podcasts can be, and those sorts are interesting too. But rather the three books that have changed the author/actor/director/athlete etc part which is so illuminating for me.

It was a great and meaningful and impactful conversation. I feel so enriched for a long walk in the sunshine on a winters morning with my dog and these men chatting in my ear firing up my brain.

And because it was a long conversation and a late start being a Saturday morning – I’m late. But if you’re driving or walking or even gardening and like to listen to podcasts. This is a good one to listen to and Neil chats to all sorts of well known and interesting characters. The books we read are who we become. And the lack of any reading is sadly becoming more common in society. Books are so important, both fiction and non fiction.

Neil pulled a quote and I can’t recall whose it was, I think it was Henry Thoreau’s – he was asked why he reads so much, his reply was because how else could he live a thousand lives. I’ve probably butchered that. But the more lives we live, the broader our perspective, the greater our capacity for empathy, compassion and understanding.

There are so many threads I could pull from this conversation, and way to pull but I will instead offer it up as brilliant week-end listening (or anytime listening) and leave it at that.

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