Vade Mecum

I didn’t send a tip of the week last week.  I have no good excuse to offer. It’s pretty simple, really. I forgot.

So, this week I’m going to wrap two into one.

But first, a little background.

If you ever want to put me to sleep, don’t bother using sleeping pills, or a tranquilizer gun.  If you ever want to put me to sleep, simply put a book in my hand.  Then, just stand back and watch. In five minutes, worst case scenario… 15 minutes, I will be sound asleep.

So, my first tip for you this week is: read a book.  If you’re having trouble falling asleep, it might knock you out.

And yet, last month I read four books.  How is that even possible?

“Vade mecum” is an old Latin phrase that has made it into the English language.  In Latin, “Vade mecum” means “go with me”.

In English, a “Vade mecum” is:

  1. a handbook or guide that is kept constantly at hand for consultation.

That’s my secret. I always have a book with me. If I drop my daughters at a dance class, I read a book while waiting in the parking lot. Or, if I am meeting a friend at a coffee shop, I read a book while I wait for my friend to show up.  If I end up standing in line at the department of motor vehicles, I read a book while waiting.  If I’m stuck in afternoon school traffic, I read a book.

Napoleon once said he was able to win all of those battles because he knew the value of five minutes.

The average American reads one book a year. You could easily surpass that just using the hidden moments that are interspersed throughout your day.

One last thing. For this to work, you have to be able to keep up with your book.  One of the books I read last month was Heaven Misplaced by Douglas Wilson.  Ironically, I lost the book 4 times before I finished it.   So, I guess that is a bonus tip for you.  Don’t lose your book.

Try it yourself.  Carry a Vade Mecum with you at all times.

-Dwane

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Dwane Thomas’ Tip of the Week, October 1, 2016