Limericks Give Sales Rep ‘Reason to Smile’

79 Reasons to Smile is a book with a message, says 30-year industry sales rep Robert Schneider about his self-published book of limericks. And that message is—well, let one of his limericks explain:

The thing we’ll be trying to say

You ought to take time out to play

Don’t put off your laughter

Until sometime after

Do all of your laughing today!

Dedicated to Schneider’s late father, Jerry, 79 Reasons to Smile is Schneider’s first foray into writing and is the result of eight years of collaboration between father and son. The elder Schneider started writing limericks and poems in his early 20s, a fact that his son didn’t discover until much later. “Personally, I didn’t find out that he did it until I was in my 40s,” Schneider tells JCK. “Eight years ago, I started writing some limericks myself. It was a friendly little competition, writing limericks back and forth. He would call me, start reading one to me, and if I didn’t immediately laugh he’d hang the phone up on me. Five to 15 minutes later, having revised it, he would call to read it back, and usually I’d laugh because he’d have fixed whatever it was that I hadn’t found funny and made it work.”

79 Reasons to Smile is Schneider’s final birthday gift to his father, who passed away in July 2005 at the age of 79, inspiring the title of the book. He says, “Many times throughout our lives most of us look back and remember things we wish we had done. I didn’t want this to be one of those things.”

For every book purchased directly from him by someone in the jewelry industry, Schneider will donate $2 to Jewelers for Children. He will also donate part of the proceeds to Valley Industries, a workshop providing jobs for about 200 adults with disabilities, including Schneider’s sister.

Schneider says the book industry isn’t crazy about self-publishers, but he’s content to let 79 Reasons to Smile grow slowly, “book by book.” He hopes people in the jewelry industry will think enough of his work to give it as a gift to customers, family, or friends.

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