If Found Please Read author and creator Madison White began her writing career with 50 handwritten journals and a plan to sneak them into bookstores across the country. She saved about $2,000 from her job as a waitress and decided to cross the country on a Greyhound bus on her self-proclaimed book tour. What she didn’t know was that her life was going to change before this adventure really began.
His journals include what Madison calls “ramblings.” Unpublished and shameless expressions of his life. In her writing, she addresses issues such as depression and what it was like to leave home, focusing on growing up and refusing. She wanted raw, unedited and real.
At the beginning of each diary, Madison included her contact information in addition to a disclaimer and an introduction to her work. She wrote that the first chapter may be hers, but the second is the reader’s – an open invitation for him to tell his own life’s story. The purpose of this mission was to connect with strangers.
A few days before her scheduled departure, she went to a show and then chatted with one of the musicians, telling him about her “If Found Please Read” project and the journey she was about to embark on. Any chance he had, his band was breaking up and he was looking for renewed inspiration with his music. He invited himself on his tour to play in cafes and bars as they travelled. He also turned out to be driving a Toyota Scion, a step up from the Greyhound bus.
It’s just too much history! Part 3 after work and the kids fall asleep
Madison couldn’t turn down this nice set of wheels, and together they roared the country, covering 18,000 miles in her car. Her new friend played in cafes and Madison slipped her newspapers into bookstores, and at night they stretched out in the back seats and slept in truck stops and parking lots. The first of Madison’s journals was found while they were in Portland. She got a text that said, “Is this true”?
Madison was jumping – someone had found her book. After texting back and forth, this stranger opened up to her saying how he was recounting the fact that Madison had left home early because he too had left home when he was young: his parents did not accept that he goes out. Madison had embarked on this project as a way to connect with people and it had already proven to be a powerful tool.
As they continued to travel, Madison received more phone calls and texts, even meeting some of her complete strangers in person. A total of 30 of her original 50 journals were found, and she considered the trip a success. Oh yeah, and you might have guessed it already, but that musician who came on the road with her? Well, they are now married and have been for several years.
But here’s the most exciting thing: Madison is doing it again. This time, she’s on a mission to leave 1,000 handwritten diaries for complete strangers. You never know where they will end up! Good hunt.