Dive in: Use books at your local library to learn more about swimming

Although I swam daily during my childhood summers, I’ve done it only occasionally in the past 30 years. I’ve recently had the opportunity to pick up this activity again and have been noticing some truly positive results.

First, it’s been great to discover that even after a long break, I’ve been able to find success with swimming again. 




Second, I’ve enjoyed the health benefits of this low-impact exercise, from greater overall strength to decreased tightness in my joints and muscles. 

Third, swimming has provided me with an opportunity to immerse myself in the water and experience being in the moment, in what is sometimes referred to as a “state of flow.” 

Author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi examines this feeling and how to achieve it in his best-selling book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.

While sports and fitness books abound, it’s hard to find books about swimming. This makes Why We Swim, by former competitive swimmer, surfer, and author Bonnie Tsui, a true stand-out. Tsui dives into her topic (pardon the pun!), taking us on a journey through the stories of a wide variety of swimmers, from an Icelandic shipwreck survivor to a swimming club in Baghdad that meets at Saddam Hussein’s former palace swimming pool.

For swimmers, or for anyone who can relate to having a passion for an activity they love, Why We Swim is an immersive reading experience that’s perfect for the hot days of August. It’s available as an e-book, e-audiobook, and in print at cadl.org/catalog.


Cheryl Lindemann is a collection development specialist at Capital Area District Libraries and a co-host of the Reader’s Roundtable Podcast.  

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