The value of a book


This week, I have been thinking a lot about books. It started last week when I was debating whether to take a Machzor (High Holiday prayer-book ) that was given to me by a college boyfriend more than 20 years ago with us to synagogue. For years, I have taken that book with me each year and enjoyed following the annual service in my own prayer-book. The past few years though it’s gotten more difficult to follow along, the new synagogue we belong to doesn’t use this same prayer book which means I am constantly trying to find the page in my own book. I have loved using that book each year, it’s like visiting with an old friend during this holiday season. I keeping different notes and information I have collected over the years about the holidays in the book and each year it’s fun to reread those as well.

Over the weekend, I got an email from a friend that my 1,000 Mitzvahs book was already shipping even though it wasn’t originally expected until later in the month. I got a lump in my throat when I started realizing that my book will soon end up in the hands of all those folks who’ve pre-ordered, and they are actually going to pick it up and read it. It’s no longer just something I have been working on at my computer sitting in the privacy of my living room for the better part of two years – it’s kind of scary but also really, really exciting.

That started me thinking about the first mitzvah I did which was to give a friend a book. People often asked me about my first mitzvah and if I originally started with big ideas for what I would count as a mitzvah and then realized that might be too difficult, but the truth is the mitzvahs themselves have always been and continue to be small actions like giving a friend a book I thought she might enjoy.

So my mitzvah idea for this week is to do something bookish.

* Gift a meaningful book to a friend.

* ¬†Clean out some fiction books you might no longer want. If you have a store like Powell’s that buys them back – donate the money to a charity of your choice.

* If you have children’s books to donate find a children’s book bank in your city.

* Spend a few minutes commenting on an author’s website or review page.

* Sign up for a volunteer reading program. Read to your own children or grandchildren.

Books are powerful. Buy them. Read them. Share them.

Clean Up Your Own Mess!

Gross! Was it you who took your dog out this afternoon for a walk and let him poop on my sidewalk...

Giving Grudgingly

Has someone asked you for something and you have grudgingly agreed or wholeheartedly agreed but...

Toilet paper again?

965) I know, I know. Talking about toilet paper as a mitzvah is pretty silly, but on Saturday... and Groupon

Yesterday, I received my daily Groupon email. If you aren't familiar with Groupon you'll want to...

Challah for Hunger

This past weekend, I learned about an incredible grassroots organization and had to share! On...

Dads Matter – Celebrating Father’s

This Sunday is Father's Day. While you may have a father to celebrate with perhaps some one you...

Recent Mitzvahs

I found a wonderful quote from Maimonides that I shared at the beginning of the project. I think...

Counting Gratitudes

My trip to California to launch the book tour has been absolutely magical. If there was any fear...

REBOOT and Sabbath Manifesto

Think your life is on constant overload? So much to do and never enough hours to do it, always...

Pass Something along to a Friend

No one mentioned to me  that when you sit around being sedentary for months writing a book you...