This is me, in Akron, Ohio, in the house next door to Dr. Bob’s house. The pictures are of pioneer AAs, and the books include many of the books they used to form the program or that greatly influenced the founders.
My attitude about this is skewed, and I have an agenda. I am very much in favor of reading and writing, in all cases. The place where I live and participate in AA can be, at times, insular, and I’ve heard admonishes against reading or supplying literature that is not “AA approved.” Not often. I don’t often hear people speak against it. But sometimes.
I offer the picture and the idea that AA was founded upon literature that was not AA approved because there was no AA to approve anything. Yet the way our civilazation is passed down and developes is through literature and the written word. I believe that reading is good, and that bad literature won’t hurt people or jeopardize their sobriety.
I read the Big Book at meetings and from time to time on my own. I had the Big Book on tape, and I really like that. I need to get it on CD now that cars won’t play tapes anymore. I read the Step Book at meetings and on my own. I’m working my way through that whole book line by line. I plan to read these for the rest of my life. There’s no other literature I can say that about, including of course the Bible.
I rotate and switch among meditation books in my desk at work. Right now I have As Bill Sees It there. I read other books that have to do with AA, alcoholism and spirituality. I just finished The Camel Knows the Way because it was given to me to read by someone in the program. I’m currently reading The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox. That was given to me to read when I was new in the program, and I’m reading it again. I also recently read Not-God, which is a history of AA. I mostly liked that book.
When I was new I read Living Sober and Came to Believe. I recently reread Stools and Bottles and I’ve also liked The Little Red Book. I’ve never been harmed by a book and really I think even a bad book is good to read.
I’ve considered writing several posts and making Literature as a Tool a category here, and maybe I will. For now I will transcribe one of my favorite poems for sobriety. My undergraduate degree is in journalism, and my master’s is in secondary education, English. I’ve read a lot, and I enjoy it, and this poem is just about too nerdy for me to share but I’m going to anyway.
LXII. Terence, this is stupid stuff
A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad. 1896.