In the world of libraries, we measure time in “books read,” so at this time of year, we look back at 2018 to consider the pile of books we read and were moved by, the pile of books we read and wished we hadn’t, and the pile of books we haven’t yet had time for.

In The Book of Learning and Forgetting, author Frank Smith reminds us, “You learn from the company you keep.” The lessons we learn from our relationships has a permanence to it that classroom learning often does not. Like the relationships we have with the people in our lives, our relationships with books and stories serve to help us understand our own selves better, to hone our beliefs, and to consider new perspectives. We read and think, “I am like this… I am not like that… I would like to be more like her.”

This year, Tara Westover’s Educated offered me an opportunity to re-think what it means to be educated and how education happens, and it gave me a renewed appreciation of the privileges of my own life, surrounded by books and nice people all day!  When Tara spoke at a library event we streamed earlier this year, her thoughtful assessment of her own life path was inspiring. Her tumultuous childhood taught her to be strong, compassionate, analytical, and determined. As I waded through each episode of her life, I imagined myself in her place and recognized some of my own strengths and weaknesses. Her story made me want to understand mental challenges better, and it will stay with me for a long time.

  • So tell us (reply here or post on our Facebook page), what books moved you this year and taught you something new about yourself?

  • Interested in hearing more about Frank Smith’s The Books of Learning and Forgetting? We are discussing it as Smart Schooling Book Group on Thursday, December 20, 6 pm, Laura’s Library.
  • Interested in discussing Tara Westover’s Educated? Join the BookTalk Book Club on Tuesday, January 29, 1 pm, at Westbank Library.

Please note upcoming holiday closures:

  • Monday, December 24 through Wednesday, December 26 libraries closed all day
  • Monday, December 31, libraries will close at 4 pm
  • Tuesday, January 1, libraries will be closed all day

We will ring in Noon Year’s Ever with Joe McDermott! Join us for this great family event at 11 am, December 31, Laura’s Library.