We hope all of you had a good New Year! We’re super excited for 2023 at the library. Each year we have a different theme. Last year was “Books, Spice, and Everything Nice.” This year, our theme is “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.”
The idea that you can’t understand someone (and shouldn’t judge them) until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes is a pretty common sentiment. Hey, even Elvis sang about it. But how much do we really do that, as both individuals and a society?
It’s something we’re interested in exploring at the library this year, so each month, we’ll be featuring a new “shoe” and perspective through books or movies (or songs?) as we ponder the great diversity in the things we humans think, say, and do. We’re not sure where the walks in these “shoes” will take us, but we hope these miles lead to a more empathetic world for all who participate (including all of us who work at the library!)
On the blog, I’m especially interested in exploring these perspectives through our fiction collection since fiction is such a powerful means of exploring other people’s experiences. Don’t believe me? Here’s an interesting summary of some of the research that’s being done on the connection between reading fiction and building empathy.
But why rely on science when we have such great writers in the world?!? What brought it home for me were these words from Nobel-prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, “But in the end, stories are about one person saying to another: This is the way it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it feel this way to you?”
We hope you are ready to put your walking shoes on this year and stick with us through the journey. I’ll be introducing our first “shoe” next week. 😊
What are your big plans for 2023? What’s on your list to read in the new year? Do you think reading fiction can really build empathy? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.