Published: March 17, 2023

Buffs One Read, a campus program that aims to build community through the shared reading of one book, has selected a new title for the Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 program: The Book of Joy, Lasting Happiness in a Changing World, by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams. 

The book features a 7-day conversation between two of the world's most inspirational spiritual leaders about our search for joy and meaning in the face of suffering. It was selected from a shortlist of seven titles as the best fit for 2023-2024 Buffs One Read theme of Community Care and Compassion.

“In selecting The Book of Joy for the next Buffs One Read, we hope to provide our campus community with opportunities to share stories and experiences with each other about the very real challenges of finding joy in this troubled world,’’ said Robert McDonald, dean of the University Libraries and senior vice-provost of Online Education. “We especially hope that faculty and campus groups will use the text in their teaching and to create programming that builds community on campus.”

The Buffs One Read is a campus reading program sponsored by the University Libraries that is now entering its third year. It is specifically aimed at first year students to help them make friends and find belonging, but it is open to the entire campus community. 

“Finding a way to use the One Read book in our courses is a way that faculty can help foster community and engagement on our campus,” said Tiffany Beechy, professor of English and chair of the Boulder Faculty Assembly.  “It isn’t always easy to fit the One Read material into our syllabi, but if we can do it, the benefits are substantial.  I encourage my colleagues to embrace the One Read program with a spirit of curiosity and creativity.  If I could find a way to work Indigenous epistemology (Braiding Sweetgrass) into my course on medieval media, I’ll bet a mathematician can creatively include some of the wisdom of the Dalai Lama.”  
University Libraries will release Canvas content that provides course integration and learning activity possibilities soon. Campus collaborators are planning programming and events for the coming year. If you are interested in collaborating on related programming or would like to learn more, please contact

"Through the theme and the selected text, we invite the community to consider how to live a life of joy and compassion in spite of global hardships and suffering," said Cynthia Keller, chair of the selection committee and member of the Libraries Learning and Engagement Team. "As we explore the teachings of the Archbishop and the Dalai Lama, we will envision opportunities to enact compassion for the benefit of our local and global communities.

Previous One Read texts were in 2022 Braiding Sweetgrass, Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Wisdom of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer and in 2021 American Like Me, Reflection on Life Between Cultures, by American Ferrera. First year students in these years received a free copy of the text.