In school, our reading choices are mostly dictated by what is assigned for classes or from reading lists. But once we are out of school, the decisions are up to us. In this episode of KUT's podcast "Higher Ed," Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger and KUT's Jennifer Stayton discuss the joys and impacts of lifelong reading.
Ed believes that there are a couple of keys to staying well read beyond our school years.
One: expand the canon of what is considered "must reads" in school and beyond.
"Those canons traditionally are Western, usually written by white dead men," says Ed. "What about the voices of individuals who are out there, in history and beyond, who were creative beings, or even not, but just having their story told....And so now, the question is, how do we find a balance where we can get a diversity of voices and perspectives?"
Two: read books that will push us in reading and in other arenas.
"Reading can transport you to a world where you might not be comfortable but you can actually find your way," Ed believes. "That's really the exciting world of ideas which can be reflected through reading." Ed says exploring new ideas in our reading can lead us to exploring new ideas in other aspects of our lives.
What are on Ed's and Jennifer's bookshelves? Ed says he prefers non-fiction and likes reading about the art of comedy. But he also was completely mesmerized by the "Harry Potter"series. Jennifer also favors non-fiction but cites "The Thorn Birds" and "The World According to Garp" as favorite reads from the past.
What is the one classic series that Jennifer has never touched? And what is the one book that Ed suggests everyone read?
Listen to the full episode to find out, and to get the answers to the riddles about veggies and witches!
This episode was recorded on Oct. 30, 2018.
For all of the Higher Ed episodes, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here.