The Campbell Library is such a wonderful place. In ten steps you can pass thousands of books documenting revolutionary wars, analyzing the development of women’s rights in third world countries, illustrating stories about the personal struggles of those born in impoverished inner-cities in the U.S., and more.
One pattern tying all of these books together is their ability to grant you different perspectives. I think we might all agree that the book we currently read paints a new picture of what we previously conceived as our internal and external environments. When I looked up from reading The Martian by Andy Weir, I observed how small our civilization is. While reading Swallow by Sefi Atta, I felt the desperation described by the fictional young women in Lagos who were smuggled drugs to earn money to buy meals. Every book I have read has shifted my views in some way. I believe by reading, we can gain empathy for others and better understand the complexities of the world.
When I have free time, I will walk through the library and get excited by the prospect of fascinating and unique stories in the many book covers I see. When one piques my interest, I’ll grab it and sit cross-legged on the ground, covered by the tall surrounding shelves. I might read one page or twenty pages or add it to my bag to bring home. Even if you read a few pages of a book, you have afforded yourself the probable exposure to starkly new ideas. This investment of time is rewarding not only because it might be a pleasant and relaxing experience for you to read in the library, but by observing others’ stories, you have committed to growing as an individual who better understands this world.