WHAT I LEARNED: 1. I was just poking around the al-anon.org website today & found the brand new introduction created for the daily reader: “One Day At A Time In Al-Anon” (also known as: “ODAT”). For a little background on why this new intro came about, check out pages 38-39 of the “2021 World Service Conference Summary” (item # P-46). With all the supply issues & paper shortages continuing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, & given that all the current stock has to be depleted first, I’m not sure when this new intro will actually start appearing in the printed books (item # B-6 for regular size, & B-14 for large print), however the electronic versions could be an entirely different matter & here’s where I start falling down the rabbit hole…🐇🕳️
2. I’ve had the e-book version since September 2021 & it shows a publication date of March 11th, 2020. Now that it’s October 2022, I just went back online to view the sample preview of the e-book to see if the new intro has been added, but nope, not yet. However, when I looked closer at the page immediately before the January 1st reading (which seems to resemble a preface, but it’s not labeled as such), it is written a bit differently in the e-book version compared to the page in the print version! It also includes a section called “Quotations” & specifically mentions “the Scriptures of the Judeo-Christian faiths.” To see the page in the e-book version for yourself, click on the phrase “Free Preview” in the image below (or click here & then click “Look Inside”).
Even though the author of the book is listed as Al-Anon Family Groups, I am completely baffled why this text is different in the e-book compared to the hard copy book. 🤔 And while doing my research, it got even stranger! I can’t find any reference to this e-book on Al-Anon’s main website, online store, or in any of the Conference summaries!!! 🤯 So at this point, I can’t even confirm the e-book’s item number (…which I’m guessing would be eB-6). If you happen to know anything about this mystery, please leave a comment below this post!
3. As far as whether the new intro will be in the audiobook version (item # eA-6), that too remains to be seen. ODAT was Al-Anon’s second audiobook that came out in May 2014, but when I searched for it in October 2021, it wasn’t available anymore. Word from the World Service Office was that they were aware of this & were working to resolve it. …Perhaps they will add in a recording of the brand new intro when the audiobook version is re-released??
According to the most recent 2022 CAL Catalog (item # S-15), that was just revised in August, it shows ODAT as being available as an audiobook ― as well as on the online pamphlet “Getting Started” (item # S-15R), which is also within the general hard copy Al-Anon Newcomer Packet (K-10) & the “Getting Started” section in the digital version: “Welcome Newcomer!” (eK-10) ― but I’ve checked everywhere online & still can’t find it. 😕
I’ll update this blog post if I find out any answers to these “head-scratchers.”
4. In the meantime, why get so excited about just an introduction? Well first, that it actually happened at all!… For about the first ten years of the book’s life, revisions were made with each succeeding edition, but that came to a halt in 1978 when the book’s contents were essentially “frozen” by the World Service Conference (see page 199 of “Many Voices, One Journey” (item # B-31)). Changes can still be made, but the process was made stricter that requires approval of the majority of the Conference (which only meets in session once a year). As of now, this motion still stands & I think ODAT is the only item that has this designation. So, basically the book became a time capsule in a sense. The new introduction acts as the “explanation” letter that is usually included with time capsules. It’s written to a future (or existing) reader that bridges a gap of time & this sentiment is poignantly expressed in its last line: “As we read these pages, may the words of our early members help us to better understand who we were, who we are, and who we can be.”
I also enjoyed reading the article, “Impression – Putting Our Literature into Context,” about the process of creating the introduction (from page 97 of the new “2022 World Service Conference Summary” (item # P-46)) where deep reverence is given to the “continued vitality of a solution so rooted in communal human spirit.”
5. Random Thought: Sometimes I wonder… if scientists ever find the human gene for alcoholism & the disease is eradicated, would all of our recovery literature be gone too? Or would all of them turn into time capsules… read by the curious to find out how we turned struggle into beauty?
**BONUS CAL QUESTION #1: Which version of ODAT will definitely NOT be getting the new introduction added? (Hint: it was a special limited printing of item # B6-50!)
***BONUS CAL QUESTION #2: Which other book is getting updated with a new foreword? (Hint: it was Al-Anon’s third book – see item # B-4!)