Big Book

Forward to the first edition

You can find a virtual copy of the Big Book Here. This is the chapter I provided notes for today.

  1. AA was more than 100 members at the time the book was written.
  2. Precisely– being exactly that and neither more nor less
  3. Alcoholic is a very sick person
  4. Our way of living has its advantages for all. (See the chapters to wives and the family afterwards.)
  5. Anonymous– of unknow name, whose name is witheld
  6. Avocation– a minor occupation, a hobby
  7. Anonymity is requested on AA’s when speaking publicly and in the press.
  8. (AA preamble and Tradition 11 probably come from this source.)
  9. Signed by the Fellowship, not Bill W.

PREFACE Page Xi-xii

There are 4 editions to the Big Book.

  1. First edition Published 1939: 300,000 copies printed
  2. Second edition Published 1955: 1,150,500 copies printed
  3. Third edition Published 1976: 19,550,000 copies printed
  4. Fourth edition Published 2001: (37th printing as of 2017) As of this date, over 30 million copies have sold

“Because this book has become the basic text for our society and helped…. there exists a strong sentiment against any radical changes being made in it.”

  • 2nd edition moved the Dr’s opinion to the Roman Numeral section.
  • Spiritual Experience added in the 2nd printing of the 1st edition.
  • 2nd edition: the appendices were added. Personal stories were changed. (Now found in the book experience, strength and hope.)
  • 3rd edition: Stories changed around. (Redacted stories are now found in Experience, Strength and Hope book.)
  • 4th Edition: 12 concepts added. Personal stories changed. (Redacted stories are now found in Experience, Strength and Hope book.)

All changes were made to reflect the current fellowship. AA hopes the process of identification would increase by doing this.

Recovery on a tight budget

I’m sitting in my office and looking through several of the tools I use regularly for sobriety. I remembered where I bought each of these items, a small quirk of mine. That is when the inspiration for this post came.

I bought my first book set from my first group. It was cheaper, much cheaper then. Over the years, I have given away most of the recovery books that I have purchased. I usually buy my books from the groups, especially since I went in to Barnes&Noble and received the greatest shock of my life. I kid you not, the book was 4 times the cost of my Big Book bought from the group.

Yet, I have bought books from other sources as well. I regularly shop, and have purchased used books at a steep discount even after shipping costs. I have usually found books at less than half price there. Another book retailer I use is, the sister store for EBay. 

For other supplies I use, such as pens and highlighters, rulers and paper, I go to Dollar Stores. I also rock those back to school clearance sales. Why pay full price for notebooks when they go on sale the week after school starts for a dime a notebook? Why spend over two dollars for a composition notebook, when the dollar store has them for that same dollar? I have saved quite a bit of money that way.

Yet my favorite way to get recovery literature and supplies is to hit the thrift stores. Recovery books show up there quite often. Sometimes, they just get thrown away, which is almost a crime, and a heart rending one at that. Why fill a landfill up with books? I ‘rescue’ these books and pass them on to others.

Lastly, there are E-Books. If you absolutely must avoid the dead tree version of our literature, and want to spend the money, you can buy our literature, as well as other fellowships offerings through either your device’s software, or other venues.

Recovery is not cheap. I say this with a smile on my face. From the hours spent learning the program and working the steps, to the money put into treatment, literature, and survival items, it will cost something. However, it is a price that I am willing to pay. You see, sobriety is still much cheaper than boozing and using was for me.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Studying the book, and questioning my sobriety.

Good Morning,

This morning, I’m up a bit early, and I am taking a break from my own recovery homework. I am doing step 1 again. I decided to work step 1 as if I was a newcomer, doing the homework for the first time. So I am studying the Big Book from inside the front cover to the back.

I am taking notes, writing down definitions, and doing exactly what I have asked the people I sponsor to do.

I am setting aside the fact that I have worked the steps many times and written down these same notes many times. I am using the Big Book as a text book. Each time I study the book, I learn something new. Something of my alcoholic brain and ego slips, and is replaced by something different.

Recently, I began to doubt my own sobriety, and my motives for staying sober. It happens to many of us. I had been told that my standards are too high as a sponsor. That rocked me to the core. I considered for a few moments getting drunk. I wallowed in self-pity for awhile. However I also talked to others.

My AA friends reassured me, but also told me that I am…

  1. Demanding- from my oldest friend and sponsor.
  2. A meany- from a good friend and AA member, said in jest… I think.
  3. Strict- from my own 10th step inventory.
  4. They wouldn’t want me for a sponsor, and they wouldn’t want themselves for a sponsor either. – from a good friend and AA member.

So, back to the books I go. I am following my own directions, word for word, that are posted on this blog. I am doing this for three reasons. Firstly, because I doubt of my ability to sponsor. Secondly, because an alcoholic asked me to sponsor them yesterday. Thirdly, because I need to re-evaluate the words I have posted on this blog, as well as the methods I use to sponsor. I pray I can be of service to that alcoholic.

So, in pursuit of rigorous honesty, I will post a couple of pics. I went to my notebook stash and grabbed a couple of fresh notebooks yesterday. I went to the pen stash and found some of my favorites. I grabbed an old collegiate dictionary, and got to work.

Below you will find my definitions page, as well as the first page of step one questions.

Here you will find my notes on the book based on where I am at right now.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at