Ccloset

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

Loved it. My favorite/most-heart-wrenching story, hands down, was on pp. 104-106 ["When Sickness Strikes"]. I teared up a little when I read it. But the whole book was great.

I'm a pot smoker - almost daily these days - and it was great to hear the wide range of views that you guys compiled: from pot cheerleader to skeptical non-user to former users who found it wasn't for them. As I continue to try to find the appropriate role for pot in my life (it's now my drug of choice after realizing how much more I liked myself stoned than blacked-out drunk; I no longer drink much at all), I think I will look back to this book repeatedly, both for the success stories and the cautionary tales.

Thanks for this. I'm headed home for the holidays (sitting in O'Hare right now) and am hoping I can find a way to use it to start a discussion with my parents.

Buy the book here (and use promo-code DISH for $3 off shipping). Another reader has a common reaction:

I'm published!  (Albeit anonymously...)

Anonymity was of course the only way we could elicit such amazing accounts. Another writes:

Love the blog, love the book, and I'm halfway done reading. One minor nit - the cover. Really? A blog as diverse as yours, with all kinds of media and mental health breaks, used a low-res pixellated picture of brownies on the cover? I don't know if this is just a poor source image, but looking at it made me feel high.

Another:

I ordered it and I have never smoked or otherwise ingested the stuff in my life (well, second-handedly at a few concerts, but I mostly avoid smoky places due to allergic reactions that last for weeks). But I think it should be legal and I love the stories. Now, I'm waiting for the late-term abortion book!

Our "It's So Personal" book is in the works and will hopefully be available in the early new year.

By the way, this is as good a time as any to mention how easy and satisfying it is to create your own book through print-on-demand publishing.  There are several companies out there to choose from, such as Lulu and CreateSpace, but Blurb is by far the best for creating photo books (which is why we went with them for our VFYW book). The free downloadable software is really simple and intuitive to use, if a tad buggy at times. My esteemed colleague, Patrick, already created a book of travel photos for his fiancee, Katie, and I'm currently assembling an illustrated autobiography of my grandfather - a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, the best storyteller I know, and the second best critic of Palin I know.

My project with Pop reminds me of a small but enduring post by Ezra Klein a few years ago:

The very fact of having a portrait of yourself is a status symbol, but that's only worth so much, and won't do much for your great-grandchildren's understanding of your impressive life and remarkable achievements and magnetic personality. I've always thought that the next frontier in vanity industries should be commissioned biographies. Someone should set up a company employing out-of-work, or in-school, writers, and charge $30-$40,000 for beautifully bound, broadly positive, built-to-order biographies. They can even include some pictures. That way, you not only live forever, but get to control your story after you're gone. It's the perfect gift for the man who has everything but literal immortality.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.