How I Learned to Read a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ Book

How I Learned to Read a ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ Book

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reader's Choice 20th Anniversary Edition

How I Learned to Read a Chicken Soup for the Soul Book

You learn something every day if you pay attention.

~Ray LeBlond

I am an avid reader. My mother said that as a child I always had my nose “stuck in a book.” I have been a fan of Chicken Soup for the Soul books since the very first one was published.

I already had about 100 Chicken Soup for the Soul books in my collection when my first story was accepted, for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom. The day the book arrived I read the first story, by Brad Meltzer, entitled “What My Mother Gave Me Before She Died.” Brad’s bio was in the back of the book in a section called “Meet Our Contributors.” As soon as I read his story I flipped to the bio section. I had never heard of Brad Meltzer, but I already felt like I knew him a bit from his story. I imagined Brad talking to his mother on the phone. She wanted to know if he was taking his vitamins and getting enough fresh air and exercise. I visualized a small lady with a tall son. She was worried he was writing too much and not getting out. He needed his vitamin D.

After letting my imagination run amok, I went to his website and immediately recognized the names of the bestsellers he had written. I had a new author to read!

Brad Meltzer’s story was a great contribution to me personally. It was an “a-ha!” moment in my own life when I realized that as each mother is bound to her child, they also bind us together as authors who all owe something to our mothers. It was also an “a-ha” moment because I realized that I had been missing out on a crucial element of the Chicken Soup for the Soul experience. Now I look up the author’s bio after I read each story. I am in awe of the lineup of authors and I am humbled that I am one of them! These people are all so very special.

The author list is as long and as varied as the stories in each Chicken Soup for the Soul book. Now I need to re-read each of the 140 Chicken Soup for the Soul books I own so that I can meet the contributors.

I didn’t know how to properly read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book when I first started. You see . . . I only read the stories. I missed the endings . . . the part about the authors. To me, they are the most important part.

~Linda A. Lohman

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