How books can open your mind

Discussion and video activity

Discuss the following questions :

  • What kind of books can open your mind? 
  • Has it ever happened to you? Have you read a book that opened your mind?
  • What other activities or experiences can open your mind?
  • What can close your mind?

Video: TED Talk   
What happens when a dream you've held since childhood … doesn't come true? As Lisa Bu adjusted to a new life in the United States, she turned to books to expand her mind and create a new path for herself. She shares her unique approach to reading in this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books.

Length: 6.17 min

Watch the talk and find the 10 mistakes in the notes below.

As a young girl in the 1990’s, Lisa trained to become a gymnast in China. The government offered to transfer her to a school for athletes, but her mother refused.  Her parents wanted Lisa to become a doctor like them. They believed  a safe and well-paid job was one sure way to richness. No matter if she liked the job or not.

However, Lisa had a dream to become a ballet dancer. She tried everything to go to opera school but adults didn’t believe she was serious. At 13, she realized she was too old and her dream would never come true.

So, Lisa turned to books and she found a family of writers and musicians,
a role model of an independent woman, she learned to be efficient, and she was inspired to study abroad too.

She came to the U.S. in 1985, and she continued reading. Books banned in China, like "The Good Earth", The Bible which gave her an epiphany, learning about listening to her parents instead of obeying them, restarting their relationship.

The new culture also started her habit of comparative reading. She found a map where China wasn't at the center of the world.

She started reading books in pairs, about people, who are involved in the same event, or friends with shared experiences, the same stories in different genres,  or similar stories from different cultures and her favorite books in many languages.

Books have given her a way to learn from people of the past and the present.She should never feel lonely or powerless again.

She discovered that finding it was not the only purpose of a dream, but to
get us in touch with where dreams come from, where passion comes from, where happiness comes from.  So because of books, she is happy, living with a purpose and a clarity.

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