Reading & Lifelong Learning

At LeaderShape we believe in the power (and responsibility) of being a lifelong learner. And reading is a particularly meaningful way to expand our knowledge by exposing us to perspectives, ideas, and experiences beyond our current understanding.

National Book Month has inspired us to reflect on what we have learned from our own experiences reading books – and we want to share those lessons with you! Is there anything below that you relate to? What have books taught you?

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Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

Mary Kate Kaufman
Books have taught me to think creatively and have provided me a new perspective on the world. They have given me my own personal space where I can wind down and take time for myself. It has taught me so many life lessons and overall how to live a happy life.

Sarah Kelsick
I have read many books about something I don’t know about or I have a strong opinion about and have seen it from another side. Books have taught me to look deeper and be more understanding.

Abby Prince
What have books taught me? As a lifelong reader, I can’t recall a day that I didn’t make time to read, even if just for 5 minutes. Books have taught me the value of habits and making time each day for what’s important. Books have also taught me that even when you don’t seem to have anything in common with the characters from the outset, you are very likely to relate to them throughout the course of the book. I think of Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Liesel from The Book Thief; Mark Watney from The Martian; or Amar from A Place for Us. Their lives in Williamsburg, Nazi Germany, Mars, and California are nothing like mine. Yet I feel forever connected to them through their loves, plights, ideals, and dreams. And isn’t it like that in our real lives? When we can find what we have in common with the people we meet, it’s easier to understand them and perhaps even like them.

Sundas Shahid
Books have and continued to stretch my perspective and worldview. They allow me to simply be part of the stories, history, and in places that in realty would be impossible for me to be part of. Books not only deepen my knowledge around certain topics but also transport me to that world.

Vernon Wall
I rarely read for pleasure. I read to be a better educator. I love hearing about cutting edge research and theories that help us better understand the college student experience. I do like narratives though where I can hear of someone’s life experience.

Kristen Young
How to escape my current reality and come back refreshed and ready to face the day.
That everyone’s lived experiences are different and there is great value in truly listening to the story of another person.
That crying can bring healing.
That laughter is good for the soul.

#toleadread Book Club: The Hate U Give

The LeaderShape community has chosen a book for first-ever read-along! Join us in reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.HateUGive

You can find the book everywhere – really! It is a William C. Morris Award Winner, has been recognized with the Printz Book Honor, and is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. It also made it to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. Head to the library, listen to it through platforms like Audible, and if you buy it online, we’d love for you to connect to our AmazonSmile account (Amazon donate .5% of eligible purchases to us when you do so).

We have about a month to read the book and the LeaderShape staff will be sharing their progress on our social media accounts along the way. We hope you’ll share yours as well! Be sure to use #toleadread so we don’t miss them.

Finally, mark your calendar for 1:00pm CST on Wednesday, November 28. This is the day we’ll come together to discuss the book. We’ll have a few questions to get things rolling, and a small panel of LeaderShape staff and friends will be leading the way. We want to hear from you as well, so we’ll be using BigMarker, the same platform we use for our webinar series. There will be several ways for you to add your thoughts to the conversation through this platform. Be sure to save your spot by registering here.

We’re eager to read along with you and are looking forward to November 28!

#toleadread Book Club

To know LeaderShape is to know that we are committed to being life-long#ToLeadRead learners, that we believe in the power of story-telling, and that we know we can learn great things when we are in community with one another. Given all of this, we want to try something new and you’re invited!

We want to take a shot at a book club of sorts, taking #toleadread to another level. Here is what we’re thinking…

We Choose a Book
And by “we”, we mean you and us together! We’ll be starting with four titles and narrowing it down to the final selection by voting in a 3-round bracket. Head over to our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account starting on Monday, October 22 and vote for the book you’d like to read along with us.

We Read it Together
Once the votes are in, the book choice will be announced on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and right back here on our blog. We’ll have about a month to read the book, and some of us on staff will be sharing our progress as we go. You can do the same using #toleadread.

We Have an Awesome Conversation
Meet us on BigMarker (link coming soon!) on Wednesday, November 28 at 1:00pm CST to explore the book with other LeaderShapers. Some of the LeaderShape staff will be there to lead us through questions and discussion points.

We hope you’ll join us for this experiment! Until then, drop us any questions you have down below.

#toleadread