The term “well-read” most likely has many interpretations depending on family traditions, interests, and education. My well-read means being informed on the subjects that are of interest to me. As an armchair anthropologist, some of these interests include biographies, social sciences, humanities, and history.
Last night, I had the good fortune to hear Brian Little speak about his new book Me, Myself, and Us at Town Hall, Seattle. His passion for psychology, personality, and the science behind our behavior was infectious. He began the night by asking 10 questions about our personalities, which we were to answer based on a scale of 1−10. The questions were set to measure self-ratings of diplomatic to blunt communication, slow to fast paced approach to life, introverted to extroverted personalities, and so on. At the conclusion of his lecture, he assigned introverted, extroverted, and ambiverted (combination of introverted and extroverted) personalities to everyone in the room based on our scores from the test. After the lecture, I greatly enjoyed exploring these findings with my husband, daughter, and a dear friend. I am equally excited to read more about the topic in Brian’s new book.
Thankfully, as fall turns to winter, the days are getting shorter and reading season is right around the corner. I am grateful to have a warm and cozy house that invites me to catch up on the books I pushed aside as summer’s multitude of outdoor activities unfolded.
As a dyslexic, I didn’t begin life expecting to look forward to reading, but now, as I turn the pages, my imagination paints worlds unknown with a multitude of strange but intimately welcoming people and ideas. I look forward to the hug of an armchair as I meditatively page through the book at hand, as the act of page turning, peaked curiosity, and emotional involvement work in concert to create a rich experience. When the end of a book finally draws near, there is an undeniable sense of accomplishment combined with the desire to take those last few pages a little slower, deferring the encroaching finish.
Regardless of the physical finish, many of my favorite books seem to stay with me in my thoughts and conversations. As I reflect on my version of “well-read,” I am reminded of the multitudes of differing interests, reads, and variations on truth in our shared world.
Little noted that we’re not destined to steep and respond to the world in various predetermined ways. Instead, we are predisposed to act and react in a series of typically patterned responses. In this variety of patterns, habits, and behavioral balance, Little’s lecture emphasized the wonders of clear communication in such a diversely well-read and well-received world.
What does your bookshelf reveal about you? How do you define “well-read”? Do you know which human traits form your world view?
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