#526 When dreams come true

I was a bad baby.

From the time I was zero minutes old I was wide-eyed, wide-awake, crying and cranky. Bedtime meant nothing and my parents say I’d often stand in my crib staring around the room rattling the bars all night.

Sleeplessness stuck as the years rolled on and I’d lie in the dark quiet house staring at the ceiling with my eyes bugged open for hours. Eventually I discovered books and started squinting through thick Coke-bottle glasses — lips softly moving, fingers slowly dragging — getting pulled into new worlds and new lives. Dim lights cast dark shadows by my dresser as I followed Frank and Joe to Pirate’s Cove or cracked cases with Encyclopedia Brown.

When I went to high school I tried to sleep in, I practiced even, but it just wouldn’t take. And since nobody was crazy enough to date me, I spent most of my evenings nose deep in musty yellow paperbacks tattered from the library, creasy finger-dents in the backs, big cracks in the spine.

These days my fingers can still feel the crinkly color-faded pages of garage sale Archie comics. I can still smell the musty kid’s section of the dim library basement. My brain still reels with flashbulb-popping memories of flipping pages with mom before bed.

I think I’ve loved books since I was a crib-rattling baby. I love squeezing them in suitcase pockets, leaving them teetering on toilets, and curling up with them under blankets on wet rainy days.

Today The Book of Awesome hits shelves around the United States. Next week it’s coming to Canada. And soon it’s coming to more countries around the world.

I feel tremendously lucky and honored that a chance to chat with y’all about awesome things rose out of such difficult times in my personal life. Your comments, suggestions, and support means so much to me and I sincerely hope you like the book.

And maybe this one’s for yourself, maybe it’s a gift for Grandma, or maybe it’s for a little kid with thick glasses to read under the covers tonight.


The Book of Awesome hits stands today!

Photos from: here, here, and here

114 thoughts on “#526 When dreams come true

  1. What a great blog! I can’t wait to pick up the book. The fabulous Gretchen Rubin directed me to your site and I just love it! You have such a fresh perspective of “everyday” things being awesome. Look forward to reading more of your posts. Good luck with book sales! – Amy

  2. Congrats Neil on your book!
    I picked up a copy today. I wouldn’t be suprised if I was the first person to buy it from my local Barns & Nobel. They were putting them on the shelf as I asked the man for a copy.

  3. How did I not know about your blog? Thanks to Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non-Conformity I do now! I’m going straight to Amazon to order your book and then right back here to catch up on some Awesomeness! I love Collin’s song too! :) Congratulations on the book – the world needs way more appreciation of everyday awesome events!

  4. I ordered your book from amazon and wasn’t expecting it to get here until next week…but UPS delivered it today and I’m so stoked to crack it open! I bought it to give to my mom as a mother’s day present, but I’ll definitely be reading it before I give it to her! I just want to say thank you for being AWESOME. Since reading your blog I’ve been more appreciative of all the little awesome things in life. You’re great!

  5. congratulations, neil. :) i would just like to say that eyeball baby is about as awesome as bedhead baby.

  6. I’m so excited, I’ve followed this blog for… I think it’s been a year now, but this is only the 2nd time I’ve commented. XD
    I showed some of my friends this blog, and they all love it. Totally getting a copy of the book for myself- and maybe some for my buddies, too!
    Congrats on having your dream come true!

  7. I can’t wait to read the book! And that trailer is just as awesome as all of the things it describes XD.

  8. Congrats Neil! I can’t wait to buy it. I didn’t have the best day today, and your post cheered me up, like every post does. I got a little teary-eyed at the end of this one. I’m not sure why. This wasn’t a very sad post, but I guess it just got to me. Anyways, I hope there’s a lot more success in your future, and a lot more Awesome Things :)
    I also just want to say I love reading the comment section in every post. All the stories that are shared here are amazing.

  9. Congratulations!! It couldn’t have happened to a better blog.

    That’s too cool you wrote for GW (and that it’s such a different brand of humour). The Alumni Review should definitely do a feature on your book :)

  10. This blog has seen me, and continues to see me, through some terrible and trying times. Everyone needs this daily dose of awesome to remind them of the greatness found in the smallest things. The telling of your own personal trials motivates me so much as well.

    I ordered my copy of the book yesterday and have never been so excited to get anything. Congratulations on your dream coming true! You’ve earned it.


  11. I am following your blog for a while now from Belgium, Europe. I love the smile you put on my face with these tiny joys of life!
    And so great you make your dreams happen! In September I’ll start my roadtrip with an old VW beetle through Mexico. Having all the freedom and time to photograph and discover the culture for 4 months. One of my dreams, and I’m already overexcited by making the preparations.
    I am looking forward to experience the amount of feelings you have with your book. I wish you all the best and luck!

  12. Just discovered your site today! Love it.

    I read this post out loud to my husband b/c it reminded me of our daughter. Meanwhile, he felt connected to you immediately b/c he read the same books, etc. as a child :) No surprise at his reaction. He and my daughter are two peas in a pod.

    Thanks for the reminder of so many awesome things.

  13. I discovered this blog a couple months ago and immediately sent it to my long distance boyfriend. We are studying abroad in 2 different continents this semester, and staying close and in love has been, needless to say, a challenge.

    Until I found this blog and proposed to him that we send each other a something awesome every day. Two months later, we’ve had 120 something awesomes between the two of us, and our relationship is stronger than ever. It’s amazing how much focusing on the simple things can transform an attitude, a relationship, an outlook on life.

    Thank you for making these months so much easier on me. Can’t wait to read the book.

  14. Neil
    I am so amazed to see this website and hear about your book. I am sorry to hear about your personal hardship.
    I have to say your enthusiatic book recommendations for my kids years ago took them down new paths of reading. Their books have been passed around to others so your widespread influence began a long time ago!
    Best of luck with the book and I’ll be visiting your site to check it out often.

  15. !!! You are a true writer at heart! If you wrote a book series (beside The Book of Awesome) I WOULD SOOOO READ IT! I am truly amazed.

  16. Wotcher!

    This sure is corny, but I’m kinda living the dream right now… I’m addicted to my blog.. ;-)


  17. When good dreams come true~ You know how I feel!, lucky you, eh!
    I’ve learned so much since Dec.2010 and don’t know any other way to thank you, but being the best I can be and paying this all forward!
    Congrats and thank you=)

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  19. Throughout this awesome scheme of things you’ll get an A just for hard work. Where you misplaced me personally ended up being in the details. You know, people say, the devil is in the details… And that could not be more accurate at this point. Having said that, let me say to you exactly what did work. Your writing is certainly incredibly engaging which is possibly why I am making an effort to opine. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. 2nd, while I can easily notice a leaps in logic you make, I am not certain of just how you appear to unite your points which make the conclusion. For now I shall yield to your point but trust in the near future you connect the facts better.

  20. I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  21. I started reading your blog last year after I heard your TED talk. Then I shared it with everyone I knew. I received the book for Christmas and shared it with everyone I knew. I bought this app the day I got my iPhone. I absolutely love that this is the post that showed up on my birthday. It’s a special one because the numbers are a palindrome–11022011. All of this is AWESOME!!!

  22. This is one of my Favorites. I love reading so much, and the Archie comics oh how I miss them. It’s the thought that one day someone will be out there reading what I wrote that keeps me sane.
    So congrats and you are awesome.

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