“I am a part of everything that I have read.”
–Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President, USA
Lore is very shy.
To help her, I suggest that she reads books during her summer vacation.
(I still have the report card.)
I do remember that this was the summer of falling in love with reading!
Fast forward five decades and I’m a self-professed bookaholic who doesn’t want to be in recovery.
I love the word.
I love writing.
I love books.
To illustrate –and now bragging– I helped gift thousands of books and textbooks to Honduran schools while teaching there for five years. The Goodwill Outlet Store became my personal Barnes & Nobles. The books were bought for a $1.00 a pound thanks to family and friends’ kind donations and efforts. (Check out local stores. There’s a difference between Goodwill Retail and Goodwill Outlet stores.) And last year, my dream came true! Yes, I became a #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of five books! No, it’s not a #1 NY Times bestselling author title, and I am content.
Curious to answer this question, I crafted my Reader’s Autobiography—something I now ask that my students explore in the Divine Dialogue Writing Course. It could also become a reflective exercise for a book club or a family project on a rainy day.
(Thank you, Kelley Grimes, for this idea. Oh, to be a fly on the wall when your Book Sisters Bookclub meets! Please send photos please of the ladies who’ve been gathering for 18 years. )
|Daughter Nazlie (10) & me on front steps|
My all-time favorite book?
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach, a #1 NY Times bestselling author.
Anyone who knows me owns a copy. Three books now rest on my “to gift bookshelf.” Mea cupla, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, Sarah: my copies of Simple Abundance now come from Goodwill since I give away so many. Whoever donates them, well, it’s their loss and my joy.
Published in 2009 and gifted to me by my mom, Simple Abundance sustained me as a Caribbean expatriate and new, single, 45-year old mom with a 10-year old daughter.There was no phone, snail mail, or internet services on the Isla de Roatan, Honduras, where we lived. My lifeline to sanity and civility became the daily reading of “Sarah”–what the book was called in our bungalow. Maybe you feel the same deep sea gratitude for an author and book.
Find a quiet place.
Sip on a favorite childhood drink. Lemonade. Kool-aid. Anything with Fizzies.
If not at home, head to the children’s section of your library. Pull up a little chair or a piece of carpet.
For childhood research, look at the Newbery Medal and Honor Books. Do any on the list ring a bell? Your adult reading years might be easier to research. Think about high school or college reading assignments. Finally, peruse your bookshelf, which if you’re like me, will take some time given my bookaholic nature.
Make a list of books and authors –three for every decade of your life that made a difference in your life.
Nothing more to say here.
|Grands Mamie & Bump Bump, (L-r Cathy, me & Mikey)|
Who taught you how to read? Who read you stories? Write them a thank you note. If you don’t recall the person’s name or if they’re no longer alive, write the letter anyway. They’ll get it via Spirit-mail. I’ll be writing my grands and Miss Linda, my 1st-grade teacher.
Put pen to paper. Write your reader’s autobiography. Write what you enjoyed and learned from each book. Celebrate and document your life through the books that you’ve become a part of. It’s like an old-fashioned book report. Remember those? (I wonder if they call them “Kindle Reports” now?)
Enjoy taking a book from the shelf while sipping your favorite childhood beverage…ahhh...the luxury…the gift…the privilege.
P.S. Do you seek time to write YOUR BOOK? Your special invitation awaits you at the St. Pete Writing Retreat, October 29- November 3.
Copyright Lore Raymond, 2017. No portion of the blog post or information on this site may be reprinted, re-used or copied to another site without prior written permission from the author.