As writers, we all have a collection of books we rely on to either inspire or direct us along the writing journey. An outstanding member of ACFW Arkansas once shared titles from her collection during a stellar program. As a result I realized a couple of important facts.
- She knew her books well and depended on them regularly.
- I have a bunch of books, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d actually looked them, let alone studied them. With the exception of Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell and The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackererman & Becca Puglisi, my reference library had been abandoned.
Those two revelations tugged at my mind. A small fortune sat on my bookshelves, yet I was guilty of book abandonment! It caught me off guard, and to be quite candid, the more I thought about it, the stronger the urge became to race home and pull out every reference title I owned and hug it. I arrived home around nine that night and headed straight for the office.
I stood surrounded by faithful books. Old, new, borrowed, blue…oh, wait, that’s something else. Anyway, I sat in the floor and pulled one title after another into a stack. I flipped through their pages (many of which were yellowed) and soaked in the precious nuggets I’d paid for but never utilized. I sat for two hours and when I finally called it a night I promised to return the next day and visit with the rest of my collection. But, just as a child drags her favorite teddy bear to bed, I had two books cradled in my arms that just needed to be held a bit longer.
I took them with me.
My husband is used to me dragging books to bed. I’m a librarian. He smiled, wished me happy reading, and went to sleep. Once I had myself tucked in, I pulled the first gem onto my lap. A writer friend told me about it five years earlier. FIVE YEARS AGO, people! Yes, I’d ordered it. Yep, I’d flipped through it. However, I’d never really studied what it had to offer. Is anybody else out there guilty of this?
Two Gems Everyone Should Own…AND READ!
Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino. It’s a Writer’s Digest book and is broken down into four parts: The Principles of Platform, The Mechanics of Platform, Author Case Studies, and Final Thoughts. It’s break down of SCENARIOS and PLATFORM OPPORTUNITIES is easy to grasp and pleading to be sticky noted for quick reference. What’s more are the tried and true techniques held in this 247 page how-to treasure, yet I’d abandoned it for three years.
The other tubby title I hauled with me was The New Book of Lists: The Original Compendium of Curious Information. It’s written by David Wallechinsky and Amy Wallace. Positively brilliant. Here are a few of the lists you’ll find waiting for you inside:
33 Stupid Thieves and 3 Dishonorable Mentions
Benjamin Franklin’s 8 reasons to Marry an Older Woman
14 Librarians Who Became Famous in Other Fields–(I realllly liked that list)
4 Places with More Pigs than Humans
10 Afflictions and Their Patron Saints
10 Celebrated People Who Read their Own Obituaries
16 Famous Events that Happened in the Bathtub
I Am a Recovered Book Abandoner.
I know. Abandoner isn’t a real word, but that’s what I’d become. Not anymore. When I buy, I read, and I do it with highlighters and sticky notes at the ready.
What about you? Hmmm? Ever been guilty of this travesty yourself? If so, take a gander at your collection and share with us which jewels you’ve allowed to gather dust. Which titillating titles stood guard over your desk without having their pages peeked at and preened over.
PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE.
About Debbie Archer:
Debbie writes humorous fiction for both adult and middle grade audiences. While her work is often sprinkled with humor, her topics are candid and carry messages of healing. Two writers’ groups offer her firm direction and unlimited support. She holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and has published in both fields. Her home is in a nestled-up part of Arkansas with her incredibly patient husband and a band of rescue animals. Professional afflictions include ALA, International Reading Association, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, ACFW, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America.
Among her favorite authors are Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Melody Carlson, Christine Lynxwiler, Tara Johnson, Talya Tate Boerner, Karen Kingsbury, Sheila Turnage, Jan Karon, and of course Dr. Seuss.
Her compass verse is Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
Feel free to visit her at www.debbiearcher.com