I have a dear friend who loves books. Perhaps more accurately, he loves the smell of books. On a number of occasions, I have witnessed him attempting to sneak a whiff of a new tome sitting on my desk. Truth is, I’ve “caught” him doing this so many times, he doesn’t really try to hide what he’s doing anymore. He just picks up a book, opens it near the middle, sticks his schnoz right between the pages, and takes a big, deep breath.
I get it. Books are special. Part of what I lament about e-books is the experiential piece of a “real” book. The weight, the texture, and yes, the smell.
Of course, the true value of a book is not in pleasing our olfactory sense, but in entertaining, informing, and when they are particularly good, transforming us.
Have you ever read a book like that? A book that became a part of you? A book that changed you in a powerful way?
Maybe it wasn’t all that dramatic, but something you learned or experienced through the book is now how you talk about or think about or live out something you read?
I had an opportunity to talk to a colleague the other day who was looking for some resources. He wanted to know some of the books that have transformed us. Now, he wasn’t asking me specifically, but I caught wind of what was going on and jumped right in to the exchange.
“Do you have a sec.?”, I asked, practically pulling him back to my office.
“You’ve got to check this one out. And have you read this? And if I was going to talk to a group about leadership, I’d use this one.”
In retrospect, I probably came across as the proverbial “kid in a candy store”. I was so excited talking about the books I have found helpful. He left with a list and I was left with a book buzz.
But that’s part of who I am. I like to read (sometimes this is more like skimming) and when I catch an idea or an illustration or a particular way of framing a question, I rush to share it with others.
What about you?
What are you reading? What books/articles/monographs/etc. would you pass along?
Here are a couple I have found worth sharing:
- Malcolm Gladwell’s, The Tipping Point
- Chip and Dan Heath’s, Switch
- Rob Bell’s, Velvet Elvis (the chapter titled “Dust” is brilliant)
- Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert’s, When Helping Hurts
- Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky’s, Leadership on the Line
Let me know what you think. And let me know if you’d like to discuss any of these.
Life is better (when we read) together,