#148 Read a book about History

The older you get, the more you realize that humans don’t change that dramatically from generation to generation – at least not from those things that make us human – behavior and intention.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#148

Read a book about History

Was History a class that you zoned out on in High School or College? Did you resist listening to the story about Christopher Columbus or Napoleon for the umpteenth time after awhile? Have you ever found yourself wishing you knew more about certain time periods now that you are an adult and perhaps more traveled?

Fiction or Non?

Learning about history can be accomplished in a variety of ways but reading a book that is either biographical in nature, a factual presentation of historical data, or a historical novel can offer a great perspective and tons of information you never knew you’d actually find interesting.

Outside of reading about Mary Todd Lincoln and fantasizing about being able to wear hoop skirts, my interest in historical information was minimal until I became an adult. Interestingly, it was my love of historical fiction and generational novels that enticed a wider interest in other time periods and I’m not sure I gave it much significance until Downton Abbey rekindled my interest in the fashions of the late 1800’s – shortly after hoops were removed from the skirts of ladies dresses.

Emotional Investment

Since then, and perhaps in tandem with a couple of visits to Europe in recent years, my interest in history has bloomed. I’ve enjoyed the fiction of Ken Follett and Edward Rutherford – both authors who create magical fictional characters against the backdrop of actual events. I am able to imagine the depth and breadth of those moments far better than a college history lecture when I am emotionally invested in the characters who are being invaded by the Nords, grieving a war loss, or losing their fortune in a market crash.

Biographies

Biographies are another way to establish an emotional connection to a character; one who is historical in their own right. These books are stories as well as factual (in most cases) accounts that are shared in the context of the person’s life – mostly historical. The need for environmental context is almost always present and so we are introduced to this person in relation to their historical surroundings, often giving us a front seat view of an event we read out in the paper or in a textbook at some point.

Politics

Maybe even more recently, I am intrigued by political history and as they say, “history repeats itself” (I know this to be true with firsthand experience in fashion and furniture design) so I search archived accounts of leaders who demonstrated attributes similar to our current president. I think I am looking for hope.

Perspective

History gives us perspective. The older you get, the more you realize that humans don’t change that dramatically from generation to generation – at least not from those things that make us human – behavior and intention. We may do different things but our motivation is often similar – allowing us to experience compassion and empathy when we look backwards. It can also promote deep gratitude; for the people who came before us – their struggle, efforts, and intent.

We can always be learning and growing. One of the ways to do that is to…

Read a book about history.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below

#230 Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#230

Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Yesterday I suggested that you re-read your favorite book and if you take me up on that suggestion…. Great! I hope you enjoy. Afterwards – or in the event that you don’t want to re-read it – write a note about why the book stands out in your mind, tuck it inside and give it to a friend (without giving away the ending).

Sharing Is Good

You might share why you are giving this particular book to that particular person. Is there something about the story that reminds you of her/him, or the relationship  you have with them? Is there something else that you think resonates within the story? Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

Connections

This gesture is a small example of how we might foster social connections. Sharing is an integral part of connecting with others. Research tells us that when we share, the pleasure centers of our brain are activated – the same areas that turn on when we eat food that we enjoy or have sex. Because we take time to step outside of ourselves – out of our selfish perspective – we may also improve elements of depression or anxiety.

Kindness

Perhaps the best benefit of all is that we promote kindness which, is known to be one of those things that create forward ripples; kindness begets kindness. Not to mention that the gesture promotes reading. You may never know what goodness happens after you…

Give the gift of your favorite book.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#275 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

…I don’t have the space or quite simply, the desire to physically save all the books I’ve ever read. Using the library lets me have the benefit of holding a book, turning its pages, and then trading it for another.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#275

Go to the Library

Do you still have a library card? When was the last time you stepped into that building, filled with rows and rows of actual books?

You don’t have to be an avid reader to enjoy a library. It’s often a great space – library’s smell good. The perfume of paper and bindings is unique and quite distinct. It’s representative somewhat of an era that is almost bygone by some standards. A traditional library typically has some comfy reading spots, quiet corners, and plenty of work room for anyone studying, writing, or researching. It would be sad if we allowed these public spaces to wither away and evaporate from existence from lack of use now that books are electronic and delivered at home the next day.

 

Libraries are fantastic places for exploring. It’s a physical source for information on just about anything and yes, the same data is available with a few keystrokes online but a real book… holding a book, turning the pages, and perusing the content – literally – has its own appeal.

For kids, libraries are an entirely different type of playground. All the books in a series are typically available. Instead of just one or two Cat-In-The-Hat books… the entire collection is available in a library. Likewise with Llama Llama, Frog & Toad, or Magic Tree House, reading the full anthology is easily achieved when checking books out from the library. Kids get to experiment with stories and authors before committing to big purchases.

I’ve occasionally fallen in love with the way a particular author writes and find that going to a library lets me follow the journey that the writer by reading everything they publish. There are also some books that are enjoyable to read but keeping them forever may be overkill. As an avid reader, I don’t have the space or quite simply, the desire to physically save all the books I’ve ever read. Using the library lets me have the benefit of holding a book, turning its pages, and then trading it for another.

I know, I know… borrowing real books means that you have to return them and in our busy lives, that’s just one extra thing you add to your busy list. More than a few times I accrued a sizable fine for not getting there in a timely fashion but I considered it a donation to a great cause!! I thought of it as my own way to support the library system. In the long run it was still far less expensive than buying all those book. Treat yourself and/or your kids this summer and …

Go to the Library.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Maia Habegger on Unsplash

#282 of 365 Ways to live Easier, Happier, & More Productive

Not that there isn’t a place for reading that style of book – they’re light and fluffy… perfect if you want a quick, easy solution for fun-in-the sun (sans electronic) entertainment.

Sharing a daily life lesson, tip, or hack; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#282

Read a ‘beach’ book

Sometimes we just need a break and that’s why we go to the beach and often, when we get there, we read a random book – something easy and relaxing. However, not all of us can get to a beach so my recommendation then, is to let yourself read a ‘beach book’. You know – it’s one of those – sometimes known as ‘junk novels’ – a book without critic acclaim, perhaps not even a solid plot.  It’s one of those easy to read, easy to absorb, and easy to finish books.

Romance Novels are the obvious choice for a lady’s poolside read and the variety exists along the continuum of Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steele (with solid plots) or to the other end with a good ole fashioned Harlequin Romance type of read that shakes out the storyline in the first forty pages and becomes predictable half way through. Not that there isn’t a place for reading that style of book – they’re light and fluffy… perfect if you want a quick, easy solution for fun-in-the sun (sans electronic) entertainment.

I’ve never known a man to be interested in romance novels – my thoughts about ‘beach books’ for men are similar but oriented more toward spies and zombies. My intent, of course is not to be sexist here as I completely acknowledge that those genres are not gender biased by any means and that there is a man (or many), that I simply have yet to meet that truly gets into a Nora Roberts novel.

So, the season is upon us now with this Memorial Day post and many of us are simply ready for some physical and mental R&R… put down the academic journals, the textbooks, the self-help bibles, and the heavy duty winter reading books that make you think about the world in a new way and pick up something less intense, less thought provoking, and less educational for your outdoor relaxation time…

Read a ‘beach book’.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.