I’ll admit I’m snob when it comes to books. To the degree that I make judgements about people on the beach or in the airport based on the book they have (or if they don’t have one). Murder mystery = interesting but predictable. Best seller = no ability to think for themselves. Romance novel = oh please, don’t you ever think at all? Not that I’m not a romantic. I could watch Moonstruck, French Kiss, Love Actually, West Side Story or Gone With The Wind a hundred times and still tear up. As a matter of fact I probably have.

But when Megan said she was rereading Gone With The Wind, I thought she’d lost her mind. I’d never read the book, and naively assumed it was a great movie because of the story and the acting, not because of the writing. A couple of days later I heard a story on NPR about the anniversary of the publication of the book and was intrigued enough to pull out my 1937 edition (passed down in the family because we’re southern that way).

I spent the entire Fourth of July weekend on the deck of our cabin with my feet propped up and my nose in Gone With The Wind. I did little cooking, cleaning or organizing. I ignored my husband and the dogs. I just read. And laughed. And yes, cried. Several times. Even though I know the story by heart. I love (and loathe) Scarlett now more than ever and am intrigued by Rhett. Ashley has more depth, Melanie more sensitivity, Aunt Pittypat more small-mindedness…and Gerald O’Hara is my new favorite character of all.

Each summer I try to read a couple of classics — past years have included Don Quioxote, Moby Dick, War and Peace, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom and just last month, This Side of Paradise. And I’m now surprisingly proud to add Gone With The Wind to that list. The classics are the classics because of their story, their characters, the writing, and the insight into a different (but not necessarily correct) way of life.

There’s a lot to learn from these great stories — better ways to live, better ways to interact with each other, better ways to appreciate beauty and nature. We can also be reminded about how to tell great stories. And that’s what marketing really is — telling the story about a product, a company, a culture, a way of doing business, a way of providing a work environment, a way of supporting and sustaining the environment.

What’s your story? How are you telling it?

– Maggi