Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas is Coming--Buy a Book!

When I was a kid, my grandparents always brought me books as gifts when they visited. They weren't expensive books, but each time, I felt as if they had given me the whole world. I was the type of kid who sneaked flashlights under the blanket to read. When I was in middle school, I even chose to take the creepy basement bedroom in order to keep my light on later. What's a few waterbugs when there's a whole world waiting for me in a book?

As an adult, I'm still just as drunk on the printed word as I ever was. But now, I'm concerned. As you may have heard, there's a recession on and publishing houses are particularly vulnerable. For the whole story on this, you might want to check out this editorial assistant's take on what happened to the industry in October.

Publishers aren't running to Washington with their hands out. All they need is for us to put our Christmas money where it will do the most good. Take a look at your Christmas list. Is there a niece or nephew? Why not give them a book instead of yet another video game? Exercise their minds, not their thumbs. A grandmother? Give her a large print book. A busy mom to buy for? How about a book on tape she can enjoy while she ferries the fam around? Got a little one on the list? A picture book you can read aloud together will make more than a wonderful gift. It will make a memory.

We are all shaped by the people we surround ourselves with, the media images we let scream into our brain, and the books we read. Am I suggesting you buy my books? Only if you intend to give them to a romance reader. Choosing a book for someone means you've taken the time to think about them long enough to pick something you'll think they'll like. So think about your loved ones. Pay attention to their hobbies, their favorite things. It should lead you to the right section. Or let a knowledgable bookseller recommend something if you can't pick something yourself. Heck! Send me your list and I'll be happy to make some suggestions.

Even now, my husband gives me books because he knows I'll love them. They tell me he's paying attention. So pay attention to your family and friends this holiday season and pick out a book that tells them how special they are to you.

For under $10, you can give someone a whole world. What other gift can beat that?


Anonymous said...

Great post! Books do make wonderful gifts - most of my wish lists are books - and you expressed it really well. :)

Devon Gray said...

Excellent post, Emily! I am addicted to books as well, and when I feel stressed I can simply walk into my office and look at the hundreds of books on the shelves and it instantly calms me down.

EmilyBryan said...

Some of my favorite memories from when my daughters were growing up was cuddling on the couch, reading a book aloud. When we took road trips, we always had a book on tape. It's so much better than having a video playing because the kids had to engage the "theatre of the mind."

Reading is a such a gift. It's a partnership between the author and the reader. Each must bring something to the experience. A book is just a reminder of how magical a being we all are.

Tessa McDermid said...

Great post, Emily! I love to give books as gifts and often put together a kit with a book as the centerpiece (kids' craft book with some of the materials to make the ideas in the book, for instance). I still have most of the paperbacks my mom and dad gave me one Christmas - about ten of the classics. Les Miserables; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Little Women; The Count of Monte Cristo. A splurge for them to give me that many books at one time. . . and what a world they opened!

EmilyBryan said...

Oh, Little Women! How I cried when Beth died. The books you read as a kid really stick with you, don't they?

Thanks for sharing, Tessa!