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Books That Changed Your Life – Join Our #MTtalk!…

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, August 17 @ 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. GMT / 10:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Books That Changed Your Life
Host: @Mind_Tools

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”

― Jane Smiley, American novelist

About This Week’s Chat: a Literary Love Affair

My love affair with books and reading started a very long time ago. When I was three years old, I started bothering my dad every evening when he sat down to read the newspaper. He liked to read his paper at the kitchen table, and I stood on a chair next to him. All the time he was trying to read, I would point at words (especially headings) asking, “What does it say?” and “What does that one say?”

He figured the best way to get some peace and quiet was to teach me to read. So by the time I went to school I was already a voracious reader – and, at age 10, I broke the school record for reading the most books from the school library in one year.

The fact that my parents never owned a television contributed to my insatiable appetite for reading. I had to know everything the other children knew, and more. My father’s general knowledge was excellent, and he always encouraged me to read to improve my own. Not that I needed much encouragement! I was like a sponge, and I could never learn enough.

A Thirst for Knowledge

Even now, few things excite me as much as books. I love reading them, talking about them, and discovering new ones.

The other day, after going into a bookshop to look for a specific title, I left with a book about physics, another about astronomy, two psychology books, two business books, a book about branding, a book about social media, and a book about personal finances. (If I didn’t buy so many books I probably wouldn’t need the last one!)

And I never give a class without recommending a book or two – or 10! Here’s an interesting thing: when I’m working with a group of people I can often tell, without them telling me, who reads a lot. There’s something different about the way that readers think, reason and ask questions.

Books That Changed Your Life

But books don’t just give you knowledge. I know I must sound like such a nerd, but to me, books are also friends. They tell me stories, make me laugh, make me cry, and are always there for me. They’ve helped me through the tough times, and a handful of them have changed my life, and my career.

In our poll this week, we asked what situation would most likely cause you to buy a book to get help. “Breaking bad habits” and “Improving people skills” topped the list, each getting 30 per cent of the votes. Click here to view all the options and the results.

In our #MTtalk Twitter chat on Friday, we’re going to talk about books that changed your life. We’d love you to participate in the chat, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

  • What pleasure does reading give you?
  • Who shared a book with you when you were a child, and what was its effect?
  • Where, when, and in what format do you read? How does this affect your experience?
  • Do books still have a place in a world of YouTube, Twitter and instant news? And if so, why?
  • What is the most “life-changing” book, work-related or otherwise, that you have read, and what was its effect?
  • What book would you recommend to someone you are mentoring?
  • Please share one takeaway or lesson with us from one of your favorite books.


To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

Speed Reading
Reading Strategies
Review Strategies
SQ3R Video
The Rhetorical Triangle
10 Key Steps to Content Curation Success
Leadership and L&D Lessons From History
Information Gathering

Mind Tools Club members can also browse a handpicked selection of potentially life-changing books in our series of Book Insights.

How to Join Our Chat

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

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