Monthly Archives: February 2012

Intersections of Books, Culture, and Sociology

“A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.” Henry David Thoreau

This blog will note the intersections between my favorite subjects: books, culture, and sociology.  Throughout my life, books have fascinated me and have been my favorite gifts.  Libraries and bookstores are places of peace for me.   As a child, I loved being transported into other people’s lives and imagining what might be.  Specific books that I remember loving at a very young age are “Flutterby,” “The Little Engine that Could,” “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “The Secret Garden,” and “Anne of Green Gables.”

These types of books are pivotal in the development of children’s sense of right and wrong, as well as helping them develop a sense of how they fit into the puzzle that is their own culture.  When I teach the stages of moral development in my intro sociology class, I have the students read books like “Where the Wild Things are” and “Green Eggs and Ham” to see what societal norms and values are being taught to children at those ages.  It’s fascinating the depth of analysis that adults can get from children’s books.

Today, I read diverse books, and they inform my life.  Books change change how we feel, think, and act.  We should read a great deal and then use that knowledge to try to improve ourselves, our society, and our world.  I hope that my words will resonate with others and possibly generate civil discussions on topics relating to my favorite subjects.

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