Green River Star -

By Jason Grubb
Sweetwater County Library System 

Suggesting a good read

 


By Jason Grubb

Sweetwater County Library System

We are an entire month into 2015. How are your resolutions holding up? Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 2015 New Year’s resolution is to read a new book every other week “with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies.” So far he has read “The End of Power” by Moises Naim and “The Better Angles of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker.

Naim’s book explores the notion of power and how it is shifting in the 21st century among countries, businesses, and people. Pinker sets out to explain why violence has decreased throughout time and then shows why we may be living in the most peaceable era yet. You can follow what Zuckerberg is reading and even read with him by visiting http://www.facebook.com/ayearofbooks.

For some, including myself, trying to read a book every two weeks is a pretty aggressive challenge. It is not that I don’t have an interest in reading it is that I don’t always have the time. Life is busy. Some days I have to really fight for even 30 minutes of non-work related reading. And yet, reading is so important. Not only does it help us acquire new knowledge, but studies have shown it to be effective in reducing stress, enriching vocabulary, and improving concentration and the ability to think about complex ideas.

In a survey conducted last year, about 76 percent of Americans 18 and older said they read at least one book in the past year, down from 79 percent in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. So how do you read more? A reading challenge is always a good way to stay motivated. You could take Mark Zuckerberg’s challenge and read a book every other week or try one of these other challenges that may feel more achievable.

Read outside your comfort zone. Try a genre that you normally avoid. Scared of horror? Pick out a legendary novel like “It” from Stephen King or “The Ritual” by Adam Nevill. Can’t stand sci-fi? Give Frank Herbert’s “Dune” a try. It is the world’s best-selling science fiction novel for a reason. Maybe a romance instead? Try Prisoner of My Desire by Johanna Lindsey.

Complete the library’s winter reading program. Read five books between now and the end of February and receive a mug as well as an opportunity to win a prize basket. Sign up at the front desk of the library.

Revisit the classics. Return to a book you read in high school – or were supposed to read. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a timeless classic. 1984 by George Orwell is also good. This dystopian novel will scare you, and you will love it as your realize how much Big Brother is watching.

Join a book club. The library’s Bookin’ It Book Club meets the third Thursday of every month over in Rock Springs. This month’s selection is Ghost of Wyoming by Alyson Hagy. Contact White Mountain Library to obtain a copy of the book.

You will also have the opportunity this month to begin reading Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Erye as part of a community-wide reading program leading up to Western Wyoming Community College Theatre’s production of Jane Eyre in April.

Meet an author. The library hosts several authors each year. You will have the opportunity to meet Young Adult author Shannon Hale on March 4. She will be giving a presentation at 6:30 p.m. that day at the White Mountain Library and will be available to answer questions. Hale is a multiple award winning author. Some of her books include Princess Academy, The Goose Girl, and the Ever After High series.

Never be caught without a book. We are lucky to live in a world where you can access books in so many different forms. The library offers three ebook services – OverDrive, 3M Cloud Library and Freading. These books check out for 14 days and can be downloaded on your tablet or phone. The library also has two digital audio book services – OneClickdigital audio books and Hoopla. Download audio books to your phone or other portable device to enjoy on the road, at the office, or around the home.

English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician Joseph Addison once wrote, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”. Just as you might go to the gym to exercise your body visit the library and exercise your mind. Membership is free and we have plenty to help you meet all of your reading goals for 2015.

 

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