22 January 2013

Attention, page turners, tappers and swipers!

I grew up among a family of readers. I have deep and vivid mental images of my father relaxing in his slightly tattered recliner and reading books ranging from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People to Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, epic poems about the siege of Troy and the return home, 10 years after the Trojan War, of the Greek hero Odysseus.

My mother, on the other hand, loved fiction. With a book propped open on the kitchen counter, she would read while cooking supper or fulfilling any number of motherly responsibilities. My big sister was and is an avid reader who peruses works that encompass an extensive span of genres.

Click photo to order.
As a teenager, my favorite books included biographies of famous sports figures like Lou Gehrig, Knute Rockne, and Cassius Clay (before he became Mohammed Ali). I enjoyed sports biographies so much that, finally, my high school English teacher declared, “Enough, Cindy, you need to expand your horizons!” and would not accept any more reports from me about books based on sports figures. As I reflect on that time—and my teacher’s mandate—I am grateful for her insistence that I broaden my taste for books, because I started reading just about everything I could get my hands on.

Years later, I met my father-in-law, who always seemed to have a book in hand. When visiting, he would arrive with an extra suitcase filled with his beloved books. He enjoyed a wide variety of subjects, and I loved the way his glasses perched on the end of his nose as he read, how he marked the pages with a folded corner and then entered notes in the margins with his thick, black, felt pen. Even more, I basked in the conversation that ensued as we discussed the author and his or her thesis. It didn’t matter what the subject matter was; what mattered more was the banter and repartee that filled the room and the mind-stimulating dialogue.

As a child and, later, as I grew into adulthood, I hoped to be an author someday, not an author of just any book but one that made a difference in the lives of others. My mother believed I would write a book for children, because I love to tell stories that delight the young of heart. I always thought that my mother was right, so who would have thought I would write a book for colleagues?

When the publishers of Sigma Theta Tau International contacted me with the prospect of authoring a book on “fostering civility in nursing education,” I was a bit taken aback, but not for long, because I soon realized I had been writing just such a book in my head for a long time. I couldn’t wait to put my stories and thoughts down on the pages of a manuscript that has now become a published book with the title Creating and Sustaining Civility in Nursing Education. What a thrill! I wrote the book with you in mind—nurse educators who each and every day rise to the challenge of educating and mentoring our students and future nursing workforce.

I must admit, I love the feel and smell of an old tome, cracking the binding and turning the pages of a book to discover unlimited possibilities, experiencing an incredible intellectual or entertaining journey that transports me to any place my mind can travel. Now, I invite you to experience the feel and smell of a new tome and to have fun delving into a book that offers myriad ideas and reflections on ways to foster civility in nursing education, your lives, and beyond. Enjoy the journey!

Oh, you prefer E-books? Well, start downloading!

For Reflections on Nursing Leadership (RNL), published by the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International.