playlist

Talks for lifelong readers

Whether you're a budding bibliophile or already in the throes of whirlwind romance with your favorite writers, these talks are for you!

  1. 6:16
    Lisa Bu How books can open your mind

    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.

  2. 7:27
    Alvin Irby How to inspire every child to be a lifelong reader

    According to the US Department of Education, more than 85 percent of black fourth-grade boys aren't proficient in reading. What kind of reading experiences should we be creating to ensure that all children read well? In a talk that will make you rethink how we teach, educator and author Alvin Irby explains the reading challenges that many black children face — and tells us what culturally competent educators do to help all children identify as readers.

  3. 12:26
    Michael Bierut How to design a library that makes kids want to read

    When Michael Bierut was tapped to design a logo for public school libraries, he had no idea that he was embarking on a years-long passion project. In this often hilarious talk, he recalls his obsessive quest to bring energy, learning, art and graphics into these magical spaces where school librarians can inspire new generations of readers and thinkers.

  4. 19:45
    Elif Shafak The politics of fiction

    Listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, feel what others feel. Elif Shafak builds on this simple idea to argue that fiction can overcome identity politics.

  5. 6:01
    Joshua Prager Wisdom from great writers on every year of life

    As different as we humans are from one another, we all age along the same great sequence, and the shared patterns of our lives pass into the pages of the books we love. In this moving talk, journalist Joshua Prager explores the stages of life through quotations from Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, William Trevor and other great writers, set to visualizations by graphic designer Milton Glaser. "Books tell us who we've been, who we are, who we will be, too," Prager says.

  6. 12:03
    Ann Morgan My year reading a book from every country in the world

    Ann Morgan considered herself well read — until she discovered the "massive blindspot" on her bookshelf. Amid a multitude of English and American authors, there were very few books from beyond the English-speaking world. So she set an ambitious goal: to read one book from every country in the world over the course of a year. Now she's urging other Anglophiles to read translated works so that publishers will work harder to bring foreign literary gems back to their shores. Explore interactive maps of her reading journey here: go.ted.com/readtheworld

  7. 16:59
    Mac Barnett Why a good book is a secret door

    Childhood is surreal. Why shouldn't children's books be? In this whimsical talk, award-winning author Mac Barnett speaks about writing that escapes the page, art as a doorway to wonder — and what real kids say to a fictional whale.