Studying the Program

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.

Study methods I use

Back in 3rd grade, I was taught by Mrs Jacobsen about the SQ3R method of learning. She was not my favorite teacher, but I think that she taught me more that year than any other teacher I had the opportunity to learn from.

Here is a link to the SQ3R method. To break it down, I skim the chapters of the book I am reading. In the Big Book that means starting with the table of contents. It means I look through the paragraphs of the chapters, and get the general idea of what that chapter is about. I write down some questions I have about the chapter. I read the chapter, answering those questions. I write down the main points of the chapter, and then reread the chapter. In the case of my personally owned books, I highlight important notes in those chapters.

Another study method I use is working with a partner. My partner and I sit down and read whatever chapter together. We research the topic, and reference other information available. Google is our friend in this. In studying together, we each reach a higher understanding of the program.

There are also study meetings. These meetings work through the book, read a few paragraphs or pages of the book and discuss the topic. Those meetings are almost always exceptionally note taking heavy meetings. After the meeting, at home, I re-review the information presented, and take a look at what I have learned.

That’s about all I have on this topic. Have a good day.