21 February 2011

Ian Gawler Blog: Books and your chance to make a difference.

Books are big on the agenda this week. I have completed the final reading and editing of page proofs for my new book “The Mind That Changes Everything (to be released in May) and am calling for contributions to a major rewrite of “You Can Conquer Cancer” (YCCC).

Then we have the demise of major booksellers Angus and Robertson and Borders. Reports seem to indicate this is due more to mismanagement than to the many adverse pressures on conventional book formats and sales. However, it is highly likely to affect the book trade in Australia and raises many questions.

Would you rather read a book in its conventional form, or an e book? Does the type of book make a difference? Are novels and pulp fiction best suited to the e format? Are self-help books better in hard copy so you can see them on the table, go back to them regularly and use them more practically?

And what of the environment and all those trees that go into books? Conversely, are there unforeseen and as yet undiscovered health issues related to having long and close contact with an e reader?

Next question, where would you prefer to obtain your books? Do you prefer to wander into a bookshop with atmosphere, warmth and service? Or a shop selling BBQs and cheap books with none of the above? Or is it just a matter of getting the best deal for the cheapest book possible anywhere on the net?

Here I have to confess a bias. Or is it a preference? I love bookshops and will happily pay a premium to keep them alive. And I love the library of books that crowd the walls at home. As I sit writing, my back is warmed, my head is informed and my heart inspired as I feel the accumulated experience and knowledge, insight and wisdom, humour, strength and support of all those great writers and their books.

I am conscious of how much my life is the better for what I have read and learnt through books and part of the library’s function is to stand in honour, testament and gratitude for those benefits.

Would a computer with all those books stored on it do all this for me? Well maybe, but that does seem like a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

However, people are obviously different. Perhaps you do have other experiences or ideas to share? Feel free to comment on this hot topic as this is a huge challenge for today’s authors – how best to communicate?

Invitation to contribute to the new edition of YCCC

You Can Conquer Cancer was first published in 1984. Since then it has been translated into over 12 languages and sold over 200,000 copies. It was revised in 2001 and I am currently working on a major rewrite. Can you help?

The book is not shy in suggesting people can learn lifestyle based self-help techniques that will help them to take more control over their own potential to influence their quality of life as well as their capacity to improve their chances of recovery.

YCCC aims to be inspirational, practical, relevant and soundly based advice for people intent on playing an active role in their own illness and recovery.

Currently over 100,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year in Australia. Perhaps between us we can reach out and help more of these people. If you have direct or indirect experience with cancer (and who has not these days), maybe you have something useful to contribute.

I am requesting feedback from:

People living with cancer
Partners and family members (inc. parents and children)
Friends and colleagues
Health professionals from all disciplines

What would be helpful is:

Personal experiences with the lifestyle based issues covered in the existing YCCC
Any learning, insights, knowledge or experiences you feel would benefit others in a similar position
Benefits you may have gained from YCCC or those things you found particularly helpful
Any deficiencies you found in YCCC – errors of omission, items that need better explanation, anything you tried and found problematic
Personal accounts of remarkable recovery. The plan is to include a few of these stories as experience tells how inspiring they are
The particular perspectives and input of the carers and health professionals

You can become involved by:

Using the comment section of this blog
Emailing via info@iangawler.com
Writing to me personally at PO Box 575 Yarra Junction 3797

Please be reminded

If you need direct help with a cancer situation, it will be best to contact the Gawler Foundation which has around 50 staff who are well trained, experienced, dedicated and organised to provide on-going, lifestyle based, active support drawing directly on the material in YCCC.

I will be presenting workshops over the next 6mths in Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Bunbury and Perth. Brisbane details are on the blogsite and the others will be added in the coming weeks.

Please do contribute to this project so we can help all those people facing the many challenges cancer presents – along with the opportunities that are all too often hidden at the start.

Related blogs

It only has to be done once
A survivor's bemusement


Book: You Can Conquer Cancer

CDs:  1. The Gawler Cancer Program
Outlines current understandings of how cancer develops and the rationale for how the body’s own potential to combat it can be enhanced.

           2.What to do when someone you love has cancer
Practical advice gathered from thousands of family members and friends over several decades. A great resource to share with family and friends of people currently managing cancer.

The Gawler Foundation

1 comment:

  1. I am with you Ian. I prefer to be able to hold something tangible and feel the pages in my hands. I love having books on the kitchen table to pick up and read a few pages in the morning especially or just at anytime. You can reread pages and reading a book doesn't need electricity. I know trees are being cut down to produce books but trees can be replanted. I have read extensively to my 5 year old grandson and the proof is in the pudding. Our family has kept him purposely away from computers in favour of reading and playing with him. Anyway good luck with your new book sounds interesting.