Skip to main content

The Impact of a Book

Photo courtesy of Jorge Mendez Blake’s website.

I let out a long, slow breath the first time pictures of Jorge Mendez Blake’s work The Castle appeared in my Facebook feed. I don’t pretend to connect or understand art easily. But this? This I understood. Maybe it’s because without even zooming in on the title of the book (The Castle by Franz Kafka), I was already picturing how this wall represented the reading lives of our children.

See more photos of this work here.

The Castle (the book) was only published after Kafka died. Kafka’s ideas had a large effect on many people, but during his lifetime, his unpublished work likely felt rather unimportant.

Isn’t this the case with so many of the books our children choose to read? For some adults, (and sometimes this includes teachers, librarians, and school administrators), watching children choose books that they may deem as less literary or educational in value, may seem of little consequence. But the importance of letting children select their own reading material is well documented. We wrote all about the importance of letting children choose their own reading material here. (It went viral on Twitter, which we’re pretty excited about!)

You never know which books are shifting the bricks inside them.

One of the first things I noticed with this art installation was the light now filtering through the wall. To me, it represents all that potential energy a book can add to your life. Too often we get caught up in the logistics of book reading: page numbers, minutes read, lexile level (how difficult the text is), chapter length, illustrations, developmentally appropriate topics, etc. But authors don’t aspire to write a book because they know just the right level of text difficulty that is sure to hook a reader or that a 46-page book is the ideal length to impact your world view.

Change your language so that a child looks at a book as potential energy, not drudgery.

What topics excite them? What characters will face down their fears? What perspective could a character bring that you’ve never considered before? Will it add to your understanding of a favorite or new topic? In a world that could use a great deal more empathy, allow the book to be an introduction to another world. Books are a source of light, of potential. Try to make the way you speak about books and reading reflect this at home.

Now picture that wall WITHOUT the book. It’s straight. It’s boring. It’s dull. It’s uniform. It looks the way a wall is supposed to look. But are the most extraordinary people we meet, the thinkers, creators, leaders, the problem solvers, ever described this way? Not usually.

We need people to consume books and stories because they change us.

They allow us to learn, see the world through new lenses, and develop understanding of how we view ourselves in the context of the world. With the addition of just this one book, the wall changes. I think the real gift of this piece are the questions that linger after you study it.

  • What type of wall do you wish for your child to build?
  • How can you help others build walls that are unique?
  • Does what’s inside the book matter in how the wall is formed?
  • How would the wall change if books were added at different layers?
  • How do you navigate life when your wall looks different from those around you?
  • How can you respect the walls of those around you?

What books impacted the wall of your life?

Maybe it was a book you read as a child, or in your teen years when you were questioning everything, or even a book that impacted how you are now raising your children. What books/poetry/magazines/blog posts have you noticed affecting your children? We’d love to hear about those: leave us a comment or share on our social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

We’ll soon be sharing some helpful resources for book recommendations for you and your child. Websites you can browse together, or people in your own neighborhood who you can seek out for advice. Perhaps these recommended titles will be the books that impact your child’s wall of life!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Please follow us and share this post:

23 thoughts to “The Impact of a Book”

  1. Definitely believe that that you stated. Your favorite justification appeared
    to be at the internet the simplest thing to keep in mind of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as other people think about concerns
    that they just do not recognize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out the entire thing without having side-effects , folks
    can take a signal. Will likely be again to get more.

  2. Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was once a leisure account it.
    Glance advanced to far introduced agreeable from you! However,
    how can we keep in touch?

  3. May I simply just say what a relief to find somebody
    who genuinely knows what they are discussing online.
    You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people have to check this out and understand this side of
    your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

  4. Whats up are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own.
    Do you need any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be really appreciated!

  5. Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It in truth was
    once a entertainment account it. Glance advanced to far delivered
    agreeable from you! However, how can we communicate?

  6. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. Nevertheless
    just imagine if you added some great visuals or video clips
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but
    with images and videos, this website could certainly
    be one of the very best in its niche. Wonderful blog!

  7. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it’s truly informative.
    I am going to watch out for brussels. I will appreciate
    if you continue this in future. Many people will be
    benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  8. I’m really inspired with your writing skills and also with the layout for your weblog.
    Is that this a paid subject or did you modify it yourself?
    Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing,
    it is rare to see a nice weblog like this one nowadays..

  9. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I
    wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing.
    Do you have any tips for novice blog writers?

    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.