Time to Drop Everything and Read. It’s here. I have no big presentations to plan. I have no speeches to write. My clients’ folders and notes are in order. But now that it’s here–in abundance–I’m stuck. How can I be stuck? I love to read. I have the latter part of the afternoon to read, to skim, to dabble, or to dive in. And yet I am not reading. It’s not like I don’t have any choices. We have over 500 books on shelves in our house. If I want to hold a book, or inhale the musty odor of older books, the library is a mere six miles away. And then of course there’s my kindle, which now offers over 5 million eBooks.

Maybe that’s it. Too many choices. And just what is the best choice? Wait, this is starting to hold undertones of my old nemesis–perfectionism. Is this the best you can do? I won’t tell you whose voice I’m channeling here.

Five minutes ago I put The Liar’s Club and The Kiss on my iPad. I love memoir and have not read either of these. Oldies, both of them. Liars Club was first published in 1995 and The Kiss in 1998. Both caused some pretty big waves in the literary review circles. I can only imagine the chilling silence that might have settled over dining room tables had the designated Family Truthsayer answered the casual conversation starter, “Read any good books lately?” with one of those titles. I can certainly relate to both with personal experience with alcohol “influenced” behavior, and family secrets.

Okay, I’m digressing. If you hesitate or procrastinate when D.E.A.R. time comes, might I suggest, be your own parent, or kindly teacher, or compassionate friend. Be true to yourself.

My path? First I go to Chunk It Down. Too many choices? Look at that list on my iPad. These are books that people have recommended. Pick ten. Don’t think. This is a time to react. What do you really, really want to read – right now? Pick one. Sit. Open. Read.

        Or do a NIKE. (Yes, I’m using NIKE as a verb) JUST DO IT. Grab book. Go to comfy chair. Read. Whatever you choose is okay, right for you. Enjoy!!


Yesterday I finished When Breath Becomes Air and then reread the last section that Paul Kalinithi wrote. I am inspired.


Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships