Administrative Offices: (620) 364-2010

By Patricia Rudolph

The tradition of storytelling may seem like a thing of the past to most of us. With the explosion of the internet, quick digital interactions have become a main source of our information exchange. That being said, nothing can replace the feeling of sitting around a table or bonfire, telling tall tales with our friends, or cracking open a great book and staying up way too late reading. Scientifically, there is a lot going on in our brains when we engage in storytelling. Often the listener may find themselves mentally transported into the story. During dramatic parts, our hearts race, our breathing quickens and, if the story is particularly compelling, our brains may release oxytocin-also sometimes called ‘the love hormone’.

These story exchanges can aid us in empathizing with other people. We learn to recognize different emotions in others, see things from different perspectives, and build relationships with strangers. With this in mind, Coffey County Library would like to bring our community together to share a story this October by offering Coffey County Reads Together. We are encouraging everyone in the county to read and talk about the same book. During Coffey County Reads Together we will have print and digital copies of the book Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune available for checkout. This is a story about life, death, and all the ways we can motivate ourselves and those around us to be better, kinder people.

Read the story and then visit your library branch for the book discussion, as well as other Read Together events. You’ll have the chance to experience the book for yourself, and also share the story from the perspective of a friend or stranger in our community. Let’s enjoy the experience of a shared story. Events included in the Coffey County Reads Together program can be found on our Calendar Page.

More information about How Stories Change The Brain can be found at the University of California at Berkeley Greater Good magazine website.