Happiness Is…A Great Book Event in Kansas City.

Last night, my book tour took me to Kansas City, and I loved being in my home town, even just for one night.

The event was co-sponsored by the Kansas City Public Library and Rainy Day Books, and it was tons of fun. It made me especially happy to be speaking at the Plaza branch, a place that played a huge role in my childhood. The building has been renovated, so the familiar downstairs children’s room, with its distinctive, wonderful smell, is gone…I remember so well the first few times that I strayed upstairs to look at the adult shelves, instead of heading down the stairs. Nothing else in my life has felt like such a significant passage to adulthood. The new building is terrific, but alas, the two-story clear tube of bubbling water that, inexplicably, graced the library is now gone.

As my parents and I were leaving the house to head to the library, I got the message that The Happiness Project is again at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, for the third week, where it has been such publication! Quite a morale-booster before speaking.

* Interested in starting your own happiness project? If you’d like to take a look at my personal Resolutions Chart, for inspiration, just email me at gretchenrubin1 [at] gmail [.com] — and don’t forget the “1”. (Sorry about writing it in that roundabout way; I’m trying to thwart spammers.) Just write “Resolutions Chart” in the subject line.

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  • Roopa


    This is really well-deserved.

  • I remember some thirty years ago being flown to Kansas City to meet my new boss just before Christmas. It was my first job out of college. I’d never been to KC and they put me up at the Alameda Plaza Hotel. I absolutely couldn’t believe me eyes when I looked out of my room onto the Country Club Plaza. The holidays lights were stunning. Cool memory…

  • Congrats! It must have been great to have a homecoming.

  • I’ve always liked libraries too. We had aJunior Library at school, but I always wanted to get in the Newton Library, the grown-ups library. I never did make it, because by the time I was the right age the room was taken over for classroom space. Good news UK’ers – if you ordered from Amazon our books are on the way!

  • 423

    You go girl!

    Libraries are STILL my favorite places in the world. No matter where I am I always feel at home at a library.

  • Isn’t funny how you remember the way the library of your childhood smelled, I understand completely. I remember mine. It was very small-town and had a little corner in the back where all the children’s titles were located. I went through that pretty quickly and then proceeded to the grown-up section. I’m sure it has been rebuilt by now as well, but what I wouldn’t give to go back. Good luck on the tour!

  • Ooooh, I have such happy memories of browsing through the library as a child, or curling up on a beanbag chair in a hidden corner getting lost in a book, and you just brought them back to me. Realizing I was allowed to check out the adult books too was an exciting moment. Browsing through the stacks of a library is still way up on the list of things that make me happy.

  • shellysurname


    Just finished the book — quite awesome! I’d been struggling with some serious, almost suicidal depression since I lost my job, wondering if I still deserved to be happy or even alive since I wasn’t earning anymore.

    Simply knowing that someone else has struggled with the question of whether the pursuit of happiness is appropriate or even ethical was enough to convince me that such a pursuit is not just permissible — it’s noble and righteous.

    Besides, no one wants to hire someone who considers self-flagellation a hobby (“I’ve crucified myself, and I can’t get up!”).

    I’m also really glad you acknowledged your setbacks. When you mentioned turning into a “happiness bully,” I about died laughing — which is great, since, laughing out loud is tremendously exhilarating.

    Your book also reminded me of how lucky I am to be in love. I kept putting aside the book to make out with my boyfriend. You’re right about the six-second oxytocin/serotonin thing.

    Please come to Phoenix. With apologies to Jack Nicholson — “This town needs a happiness project!”

  • Congratulations on a fantastic turn out in Kansas City. I so enjoyed speaking to you briefly (I held the last book you signed before you spoke) and your talk. I posted a few pictures from the event on flickr if you want to take a look.
    I am really enjoying the book – trying not to rush it so I can soak it all in.
    And I loved it when the woman mentioned the S.J. quote about happiness at home being the ultimate result of all ambition. I’ve had that quote hanging on my wall for years.

  • Kathy

    My 11 year old daughter and I went to see you at the Plaza Library in Kansas City. We were really excited to hear you. This was one of her first author talks. I loved what you said, but I have to say the talk was too short. It was only about 15 minutes, then the questions.

    I did talk to my Book Club about your book though. We are going to read the book in June, and try out our own Happiness Project for the summer.

  • melissa_heeney

    I learned about your book from a link on Daniel Pink’s website. Can’t wait to read it. I just wish I had made the discovery a few days earlier so I could have attended your KC event.

    I love it that someone else shares my same fond memories of the Children’s Room at the Plaza Library! I just read your posting to my sister, and we had fun reminiscing about the many Saturday mornings we spent downstairs at the library. Choosing the books we would check out for the week (often our same favorites over and over again), seeing if the display in the glass counter on the way downstairs had changed since our last visit, filling our summer reading club card with stamps, and yes – feeling a little grown up when we ventured upstairs and started exploring the books on the adult shelves.

    Now, my children enjoy the renovated library. I hope one day when they are grown they will call each other and remember how fun it was snuggling in the globe chair with a book, exploring the Plaza landscape through the telescopes, and coloring masterpieces in the activity room.

    Thanks for the memory trigger : )