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When I was first learning to love reading, I stumbled upon the book TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. As I was reading about Scout and her experiences, I realized that the world needs people who are not afraid to stand up and state their opinions. I decided I wanted to be like Atticus Finch or Scout in that I wanted to look for truth and talk about it. But how could I find truths and figure out what to actually stand up for and say? For that I turned to reading.

By reading books I learned about other people, cultures, ideas, and thoughts. I was able to see different perspectives and decipher reasons as to why people or characters did what they did. By devouring books—both fiction and nonfiction—I learned about thought process, consequences, and influence. I didn’t become an expert at stating my opinions right away. One of the best ways I developed this skill was by practicing talking about the books I was reading. I did this in book clubs, with friends or family members, or in class discussions at school. The more that I talked about character’s actions or motivations the better I was at discerning my own actions and motivations, which in turn helped me become better at stating my own opinions on various topics. As I read I began to see what type of person I wanted to become—how to react in certain situations or how to step back and see a broader perspective when I feel a certain way. The more I read and talked about books the better I became at not only discovering myself but showing who I wanted to be to the world. Reading helped me not only discover who I wanted to be but it also helped me share my truth with the world.

The Provo City Library has something to facilitate this journey of discovery and insight—to help people learn how to stand up and state their opinions: We have a collection of book club sets. In this collection, you can check out 15 copies of a book and a discussion guide to help you get going. When people read and talk about books, they discover that they too are leaders—Because Readers are Leaders.

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