You learn a lot about yourself and why you hold on to things when you move! We are downsizing significantly to a simplified #midlifeadventure home. Yes, we will have an office and perhaps a smaller lakeside cabin one day, but for now my time has been spent sorting, selling or finding a home for all the “things” that have made our house a home. And for two authors, the THOUSANDS of books we own are a big part of what makes our place “home.”
No book will be thrown away (the average book is read by an average of 8 -10 people in its lifetime, so all books, even used books are precious.) However, I learned something EXTRA that will help me better WRITE and MARKET books in the future—much in part based on what books I kept:
I am keeping the books:
- We wrote
- We endorsed
- We mentored the author and helped get it in print
- We used as a Bible studies (so much personal info is written in it)
- We had autographed to us by the author (usually a friend)
- We used to make in IMPORTANT DECISION (Like our 7 Simple Skills for Every Man and 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman which contain the truths we found helpful in making critical life choices)
- We saw God use to PUSH us to GROW
- We wrote in the margins, marked up with highlighters and sticky notes (well loved!)
- We used for research and might refer back to in the future
- We heard the author speak LIVE and in person
- We lead others through as a facilitator of a small group (like our Men Are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti, and all our Best Decisions books)
- We used for challenges (like Red Hot Romance Tips for Women’s 26 day challenge and 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband with its 1 year romance adventure)
- We need for future success in marriage, family, ministry or business
- We used to launch a new ministry, a new vision, a new mentoring process. (Like our 10 Secrets for Living Smart Savvy and Strong; 10 Best Decisions a Leader Can Make, or Woman of Influence)
- We used over and over (like the well-worn Devotions for Men (or Women) on the Go devotionals that people seems to read year after year in their quiet times.
- We LOVED the unique size, shape, art or graphics of it
- We kept those that made us LAUGH with a whole- heart or CRY as God healed a heart.
- We could tuck into a gift (or in our purse, or drawer – mini books with BIG impact)
- We could give in the next few weeks to people we love: family, friends, clergy friends, leaders and ministry supporters
And most importantly:
We are keeping all our photo albums
We are keeping EVERY journal with our private thoughts, prayers, hopes, dreams and contrite pleas of repentance, renewal, restoration, redemption and revival!
We are keeping ALL OUR PERSONAL BIBLES because each has been a place, a personal, private, precious place, of communion with God—that one day, perhaps, our children or grandchildren will see as a legacy of love. ( As pastors, we did have many “extra” Bibles end up at our home and those who couldn’t find owners for we donated to a Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle on a public school campus. Most of our book library is being given to clergy, leaders, moms and our audiences– each precious book finding a home with a grateful reader.)
Personally, my favorite new “KEEPER” is my new Art Journaling Bible! I get to read, write, journal and draw in it as I interact with Jesus.
One delightful moment in our downsizing adventure was when a couple came to look at our home. They were transferring in from across the country, and needed a place that could also work as a home office. After touring the cozy cabin feel of our upstairs, they came downstairs to our home office and on one wall are the covers of the 44 books we have written. The wife squealed in delight and pointed to our book, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and said, “That book saved our marriage!” Yes, we too kept the books we felt those kind of feelings of gratefulness to God about—and we hope many couples around the world will feel that way about a few of the books we have written because as we have tapped away on our computers we have kept their loved ones in our hearts and prayers.
Yes, from this point forward I will make sure interaction, community, accountability, beauty, and motivation for life change is in every book we write. We hope that has always been the case—but from here on out—we are praying it will always be true that books penned by Pam and Bill Farrel will be dog-earned, highlighted, penciled in the margins, sticky-noted and the covers crumpled from being carried to the beach, the deck, the camping backpack, the soccer field side-lines—the places that life, real life, happens.
Pam and Bill Farrel are the authors of 44 books including a few best-sellers like Men Are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti and Devotions for Men on the Go and Devotions for Women On the Go as well as their newest book for marriage: Secret Language of Successful Couples.