TED Talk: How books can open your mind


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If you’re not familiar with TED, it stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and their tagline is Ideas Worth Spreading. The first TED conference was held in 1984, and now thousands of independently organized TEDx events are held around the world every year. Each TED Talk is only about 10-15 minutes long, and most (if not all) of them can be viewed online.

I went to TEDx Waterloo in 2012, and was quite impressed with the diversity of the speakers and the topics they spoke about. It was a great to be exposed to things that wouldn’t normally be on my radar, but despite that, I’ve hardly watched any TED videos. So since I decided to shake things up a bit at the beginning of the year, I’ve made a point of watching a TED Talk every week. A couple of them have triggered ideas for future blog posts I’ll probably write (if you’re a blogger, you probably get it: so many ideas, so little time) but I thought I’d start by sharing one that ties in with what I’ve mainly been blogging about so far: books.

I was especially intrigued with what Lisa said about reading books both in their original language and in translation. I did that once or twice when I was in university, but I don’t think my proficiency in French was good enough to achieve the enlightenment that she did. If it was, it certainly isn’t anymore! I wish it was, because it would definitely add another level to the reading challenge, a book that was originally written in a different language!

Image courtesy of Bonnyb Bendix

Casual Photo of Janet Barclay

Janet Barclay

I eliminate stress for my clients by hosting, monitoring, and maintaining their WordPress sites so they don’t have to worry about security, downtime or performance issues. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, cooking, watching movies, drinking tea, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Kathy Stinson on February 5, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I look forward to hearing this talk, Janet.

    When you’re ready to read “a book originally written in a different language”, I’d like to recommend Blindness by José Saramago, which I’d be happy to lend you, having read it twice. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2526.Blindness?from_search=true

    • Janet Barclay on February 5, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks for the offer, Kathy! I liked the movie that was based on this book, and I’m sure the book is even better (even though I won’t get to look at Mark Ruffalo).

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