The Plan is a series of prompts for the months of August and September which — each day — takes a word from the book to look at, as well as a day of national significance. Most of these days are fun things to commemorate. I am bummed that I missed National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, but that’s what I get for only checking in with the Plan now and again.
Today is National Book Lover’s Day, and the word for the day is “Pause” (on pages 70 and 71 of the book).
National Book Lover’s Day
I love that National Book Lover’s Day is on August 9th each year, because that is also the day (in 1854) that my favourite book of all time — Walden, by Henry David Thoreau — was published for the first time. (The first edition is pictured at left). Walden literally saved my life and continues to enrich it, through the friends and Thoreauvian family I have met as a result.
Never read it? Pro tip: Read the first chapter (“Economy”) last. The first chapter was mostly meant to be delivered as a lecture, and without the human delivery can be a bit of a hard slog. Go straight to “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.”
My favourite edition? Hands-down, it’s Walden: A Fully Annotated Edition, by Jeffrey S. Cramer. And if you order it from the link above, you will not only support the work of the Walden Woods Project — including their annual professional development week for teachers, Approaching Walden — but you can ask Jeff Cramer to personalize/autograph it for you! What’s not to love?
As I sit here at my writing desk with the window open, I cannot help but smile at the sound of the rain. The rowan and birch trees just beyond the glass seem grateful for the water pouring down.
The last few weeks have been unbearably hot and humid, and we are all pausing to breathe a sigh of relief at the long-awaited break in the weather. Even Gracie, our rescue German Shepherd from an arid corner of northwestern Texas, was doing a bit of a happy dance as she went out to do her business a few minutes ago.
It’s good to have this reminder to pause and reflect at the workings of the natural world around us. I’m sure Henry David Thoreau would approve.
This post was created as part of Two Writing Teachers’ Slice of Life Challenge.
You can view other writers’ contributions via the comments here.