I’ve Waited Three Years to Write This Post. Plus a Freebie!

I started this blog in March 2006. I didn’t intend to become a blogger, at all; I considered myself (and still consider myself) a traditional writer of books. Starting a blog was the way I chose to test the proposition that novelty and challenge make people happier – I might have learned PhotoShop or trained for a marathon, instead. I’m certainly happy that I chose the challenge of starting a blog, because it has added so much to my happiness.

But my book, The Happiness Project, also makes me happy, and now, after years of preparation, it’s about to hit the shelves. I still can’t quite believe that that day is just a few short weeks away: December 29.

If you read the blog, I hope you’ll consider reading the book. “Um, why should I buy your book,” some people have asked, “when I can read the blog for free?” Other people have asked, more delicately, “I read your blog regularly, so isn’t reading the book just more of the same?” Here are some reasons to read the book:

1. One smart friend who has read both said she thought the blog was process, the book was conclusion. The ideas in the book are presented in a more distilled, thoughtful way, and the book framework allows me to tell longer stories and explain more complicated ideas. I’m able to show how different ideas fit together, which can be tough to do in one blog post. The book goes deeper.

2. On the blog, I write about whatever subject interests me that day, so it skips from topic to topic. The book is organized by subject matter: Energy, Parenthood, Work, Marriage, Play, Spirituality, Mindfulness, etc. If you’re interested in particular subjects, you can focus there.

3. If you’ve been enjoying the blog, and you’d like to share it with a friend, you can give the book as a gift. You can’t give the experience of reading a blog as a gift, but you can give a book.

4. In a book, you can more easily take notes about what applies to you and your happiness project. Underlining, highlighting, and taking notes in the margin allow you to engage with the material. (You can do this electronically, of course, but many people still find it easier to do with old-fashioned pen and paper.)

5. In the same way, the experience of reading a book is very different from reading a blog. You can’t curl up on the couch with a blog; you can’t read it on the beach or in bed or while you’re at your children’s soccer practice (well, you can, but it’s tough).

6. I’m much more forthcoming in my book than I am on my blog. I call my family members by their true names. I talk about juicy episodes that I’ve never mentioned here. I reveal a very major fact about my life that I’ve never discussed on my blog.

7. Many of my readers have written that they want to buy the book to show their support—a “thank you” for everything I’ve done for free. Which I very much appreciate!

If I've convinced you, and you're so inclined, pre-orders gives a big boost to a book, because booksellers, the media, and foreign publishers all look at pre-order numbers. So, to thank readers who do pre-order, I’ve created a pack of bonus materials:

--The Happiness Project Manifesto: a quick summary of some of the most important observations about happiness
--Top Tips: tips that people have found particularly helpful
--Resolutions Chart: my own personal Resolutions Chart, for you to consider as an example. The last page is blank, so you can use it as a template for your happiness project.

To get your bonus materials, email me at gretchenrubin1[at]gmail.com (don’t forget the “1”); no need to write anything more than “I’ve pre-ordered THE HAPPINESS PROJECT” in the subject line. You’re on your honor about whether you’ve actually pre-ordered. ** UPDATE** Some people have been having trouble with that email; you can also use grubin[at]gretchenrubin.com.

If you deserve a gold star as well as bonus materials because you’ve already pre-ordered the book, email me and write “I already pre-ordered.”

The book doesn’t come out until after the holidays. If you’d like to give the book as a gift, anyway, here’s an e-card to say the book is on its way.

Still not sure whether you want to read the book? Read sample chapters here.

I have to admit -- I got an advance copy of the book a few days ago, and I still haven't been able to open it. I'm afraid of spotting a typo, now that it's too late to fix any mistakes. But it really does exist.

* A friend sent me a link to a helpful site, PicClick, if you’re looking holiday presents – it's a visual eBay search engine. Crazy!

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