Dear Mrs. Raymond,
Lore is very shy.
To help her, I suggest that she reads many books during her summer vacation.
My mom embraced Miss Linda’s summer reading advice. Weekly library trips became a summer routine for all three of her kidlets. Gleefully, I lugged home an arm’s length of books after every visit. Why? I was inspired to compete in the Willy the Bookworm Reading Contest. For every book read, you colored one segment of Mr. Willy’s caterpillar body–all done on an honor system. Once completed, you gave the librarian the completed and colored form of Willy for a prize. While I can’t recall what the prize was…
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 books.
I love writing.
And writing loves me!
To illustrate 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 & Noble. The books were bought for a $1.17 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.)
Finally, a long-held dream came true last year: 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 both content and thrilled!
Curious to answer this question myself, I crafted a Readers’ Autobiography—something all of my students are assigned in the Divine Dialogue Writing Course. It could also become a reflection exercise for a book club, writing circle, or a rainy day family project.
|Daughter Nazlie (10) & me on the 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 culpa, 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 treasure.
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”–it’s what the book was called in our bungalow on the Caribbean Sea.
Do you feel the same deep-sea gratitude for an author and book?
Find a quiet place. Sip on a favorite childhood drink like lemonade, Kool-aid or 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. Does any book 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.
Nothing more to say here.
|(L-r)Grandparents Mamie & Bump Bump with siblings Cathy, me & Mikey|
Who taught you how to read? Who read your 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 grandparents 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; perhaps they now call them “Kindle Reports.”
Once you’ve finished writing, savor your reader’s autobiography while sipping a childhood beverage…ah, enjoy meandering down the memory lane of this unwrapped gift to yourself.
P.S. Do you seek to write YOUR BOOK? Your special invitation awaits you at the Master eCourse, Create and Write Your Personal Vision Book in 7 Sacred Steps, April 20-May 20.
Copyright Lore Raymond, 2018. 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.