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 is the anniversary of The Book of Awesome hitting shelves around the United States and Canada nine years ago. Today it’s shipping over a million copies, been a New York Times bestseller, and was a #1 International Bestseller for multiple years.
I feel so tremendously lucky and honored that this chance to chat with y’all about awesome things rose out of such difficult times in my personal life. Your comments, suggestions, and support mean so much to me and I sincerely hope you have liked or will 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.
What’s your favorite memory of The Book of Awesome? Leaving comments open for fun today!