As I closed the back cover of my latest read, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet, I realized how much I'd learned from this book: how closely our fates are tied with those half a world away, how poverty and unrest in one place creates instability and environmental destruction in another, how important the Olympics are (that's right!), and a million other things that surprisingly tie in tightly to climate change, species extinction, ecosystem destruction, and resource depletion.
My experience with Common Wealth was not unusual. In the past year, I have read many books that have forever altered my life, my lifestyle and my thought process. I eat differently thanks to The Omnivore's Dilemma, Plenty and Animal Vegetable Miracle. I raise my children differently due to Last Child in the Woods. I shop differently courtesy of Affluenza. I will vote differently because of Common Wealth.
Books affect us like nothing else. They provide depth unlike any blog post or magazine article. They persuade unlike a conversation over coffee. They open our minds, answer our questions and pose new ones of their own.
My appreciation of books leads me to launch my (likely one and only) challenge: BE A BOOKWORM. I challenge you to read a single, ecologically relevant book during the month of May. Post a comment if you'd like to participate so that I can add you to my sidebar. Once you have selected your book, post another comment. I'll keep a running tab of books being read. At the end of the month, I will post a Reading Roundup soliciting your comments on the book you read, whether you'd recommend it and what you learned.
Later this month, I will post a list of recommended books and ask for recommendations from you. Then, look for posts throughout May about how particular books influenced certain aspects of my life.
The blog world is a busy place. There are many great challenges this May. You may plan on throwing it down for Crunchy. Chile may still have you clearing clutter. You may be growing things for Melinda or the folks at Path to Freedom. However you plan on spending your May, I hope at least some of it will be devoted to a good book. Be a Bookworm.
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