National Read a Book Day: How about National Make a Book Day?


If you really want to inspire someone to read a book, take a cue from advertisers and entice a reader with a book about them—or their family. Advertisers have known this trick for years. People like reading about themselves or those close to them. It hits home. That is why so many ads start with, or include early-on, the word “you.”

OK, so Amazon does not carry such a book? In that case, let the fun begin. Create a book about you, your spouse/partner, your child(ren) or friend. Not only will everyone love it, but making the book is half the fun. Now if you do not know how, or lack the tools, a photo preservationist can help. All you need are photos (digital or hard copy) and a story—or idea. What type of idea? Here’s where Beth Gibson Lilja comes in.

Beth has been creating books since fourth grade in 4-H. Her expertise shines not just in the creation of a book, but in developing ideas for one. For example, Beth’s 4-H scrapbooks showcased everything from life on the farm to school days to friends and family. With time, her creativity soared.

Her nieces and nephew were the lucky beneficiaries of numerous books from Beth. When her oldest niece, Laura, was little, Beth created a book of ABCs for her. A, of course, was “Auntie Beth” continuing through the alphabet to U, “Uncle Pat” and onto Z.  Recently Beth had the book digitally scanned and shared the digital files from her FOREVER® guaranteed storage account and shared with Laura. In turn, Laura was able to save the same files in her own FOREVER® account. Laura now can look at the book at any time. (Ben and Libby, please note: Your ABC books are coming.)

When older, Beth instituted “Camp Auntie Beth and Uncle Pat” for her nieces and nephew during their summer visit. Of course, there were photos galore which became wonderful Christmas gifts: a digital book for each of the kids showcasing their camp adventures.

But Beth wanted to ensure, as the children grew, that they really were reading the books—not just popping them on a shelf. So, she strategically placed one, five, ten- and twenty-dollar bills between various book pages.

Beth recalls the first time she tried it. Her brother knew, and before his son opened his new book, dad said, “I’ll give you $20 for that book if you hand it to me right now.” Son wondered why, and said, “No.” Dad upped the ante to $25, son again declined. The increases continued. Finally, dad offered $35 for the unopened book and warned, “But this is my last offer.” Son Ben looked at Beth quizzically. Beth shook her head, “no.” Ben kept the book, and found bills exceeding $35 within. What fun for all.

As the years passed, she has made many other books and “flip books” (like desk calendars whose pages flip over each month) for her nieces and nephew. Always with a theme.

Since then, Beth now makes books for clients and friends. For a friend’s daughter’s wedding present, she requested the daughter’s engagement photos and created a beautiful photo book for their wedding gift.

When a financial adviser client purchased a new office building, he wanted a book that documented his personal and professional life in photos. Beth created a photo book that the president shares with his clients to further establish his credibility.

Another friend’s family relocated to Europe. Before the move, Beth got photos and comments from friends and turned them all into a going-away keepsake book.

Another client has provided her father’s WW II diary. Beth scanned it from leather cover to cover and is creating a digital book—one copy for each family member. All will eventually have a copy of their father’s/grandfather’s chronicle of WW II from a member of The Greatest Generation.

Another popular request for Beth is graduation books for sons and daughters. Beth, again, scans photos, takes pictures of mementos, requests a letter from each sibling and parent, and collects whatever else is deemed appropriate and fashions a book that memorializes the graduate’s life to date.

Anyone who knows Beth knows Cari, her beloved bichon frisé knows a camera like no other dog around. Cari books and calendars abound. (Just wait until Cari masters your phone’s camera, Beth. You will work on her books full time!)

Then there are the vacation books. Beth has never met a vacation she did not photograph into near oblivion. More books now in digital format. Imagine the serenity they provide while trying to outlast COVID-19.

Does this have you thinking? Creativity churning? Ideas brewing? Beth is only a phone call away if you need assistance. This year make National Read a Book Day a really special occasion and savor the fun of making it happen.

Call or email us today, let’s get started: (612) 616-1215, beth@gettingorganizednow.com

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