Today would have been my father’s 85th birthday.
It’s also Book Lover’s Day.
Those two seemingly incongruent circumstances actually have a powerful connection for me.
After suffering a major stroke on February 10th, my father passed away on February 25th of this year. By the time I was able to get back to Tennessee to see him, he had lost motor functions and speech capacity. Over the few days I was there, the slow but steady decline continued.
I had last seen him during the Christmas holidays. While there, I spent some time alone at home with him. After suffering a series of strokes over the past several years, he could no longer read – but the legacy of his reading lines the bookshelves all over my boyhood home. In the quiet hours when everyone is asleep, I scanned the shelves and remembered hearing him talk about this book or that one. I pulled a few off the shelf, and opening them, was instantly transported back in time to a conversation about the subject, or to memories of the event itself.
I’ve been a reader of books since, well, before I can remember. My father was an avid reader, and he passed that passion along to me at an early age. Even though he worked 6 days a week, 12 hours a day, he often spent several hours reading at night. He and my mother insisted we go to the library in the next town and check out books – every two weeks. I would get the maximum number of books, take them home, and read them – usually in the first day or two. Then it would be an impatient wait till the next library trip.
Reading is a passion I treasure, and one that I am thankful to my dad for.
So here it is Book Lover’s Day, not an official holiday but one I eagerly celebrate. Book reading is a great hobby. It’s an important one, too. Employers look for it on resumes. Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing. It makes us both smarter, and happier people.
Book Lovers Day is a great day to celebrate. Just grab an interesting book, find a quiet, cozy place, and crack open the cover. Celebrating Book Lovers Day in August is pleasurable on the deck, under a shady tree, poolside, or in a cozy hammock. If you fall asleep while reading, that’s okay. It’s all part of the relaxing benefits of being a book lover.
I’m celebrating this Book Lover’s Day in a new vocation – Vision Room Curator at Auxano. My role requires me to read – and then write book summaries, Tweets, and blogs about what I’m reading.
How cool is that!
On this Book Lover’s Day, and in memory of my father, I’m trying to emulate Thomas Edison, who believed that voracious reading was the key to self-improvement. He read books on a remarkable range of subjects to address his endless queries. As Edison noted, “I didn’t read a few books, I read the library.”
My reading list this week:
- Black Horse Riders, Philip Keith
- Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield
- The Scottish Prisoner, Diana Gabaldon
- The DNA of Customer Experience, Colin Shaw
- I Love You More Than My Dog, Jeanne Bliss
- This Is Service Design Thinking, Marc Stickdorn
- Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Leonard Schlessinger
- Indescribable: Encountering the Glory of God, Louie Giglio
- The Explicit Gospel, Matt Chandler
- Counterfeit Gospels, Trevin Wax
- Gospel: Recovering the Power That Made Christianity Revolutionary, J.D. Greear
- The Permanent Revolution, Alan Hirsch
I prefer to think of it as creating innovation literacy.
If you want to know more about my dad, here is the eulogy I gave at his funeral. After the funeral, while my sons and I were moving some things around his gas station and I discovered one reason I am so passionate about guest services. And read this post to find out why readers are leaders.