Must Watch: 5 TED Book Talks

Literacy empowers learners globally. Through creating understanding, the act of reading creates empathy. Libraries aid in spreading and strengthening literacy throughout the world, providing resources to all people of all background for success. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, is an organization that is devoted to spreading ideas through online video clips of speakers. Similar to libraries, TED utilizes media to empower global learners. Due to the similar mission of libraries and TED, it is no surprise that many TED talks revolve around the importance of books in the past, present, and future. Below are five fascinating TED Talks concerning literacy.

  1. “My Year Reading a Book From Every Country in the World” walks the viewer through the speaker’s year-long journey to gain perspective through diversifying her reading selection, and her resulting awareness of the world’s rich knowledge and diversity.

  1. “How Books Can Open Your Mind” explores the ability of books to connect generations, eradicate loneliness, and create perspective and purpose.

  1. “Don’t Kill Your Language” emphasizes the importance of cultural identity, and cements the importance of language to convey of emotion and character.

  1. “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door” comically reveals how when reading and kids mix, whimsy is created.

  1. “What We Learned From 5 Million Books” chronicles a fascinating project wherein a compilation of 5 million books was scanned for words, and reveals the commonalities and nuances of literature.


Through all five TED Talks, a common theme prevails: literacy is powerful, and reveals the underlying truths of human existence and collaboration. Libraries enable this powerful tool to reach otherwise unresourced areas, to bring communities together, to inspire learners of all ages and identification. The versatility and honesty of literature makes libraries the heart of human understanding. These TED Talks are a reminder of the importance of literacy, a tool that we often take for granted and yet is essential for society to thrive. Your ability to read these words is a gift: savor it, and share it with the world.


Blog by Karenna and Shaleen.

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