For the record--we survived the Blizzard that roared through Kansas Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Our town had over 8 inches of snow and drifts ranging from 3 to 6 feet. Today the sun is bright and very welcome, as it will melt some of the snow still packed down on side streets.
Many of you received books as gifts for Hanukah or Christmas. It always kind of amazes me when people select books for others, as tastes in reading vary widely. Often, it's a bestseller that the majority of the recipients are happy to receive, so it usually turns out all right.
This Christmas, a friend opened a package with four hardback fiction books sent to her by a relative. She's an avid reader, and the sight of the books made her shiver in anticipation of many good evenings curled up with a new story. But guess what? She's read two of the books before. And guess what? They were purchased in a large bookstore in a major city. Even a gift receipt does her no good as our smaller community doesn't have the big name bookstores. Maybe a gift certificate to one of the local bookstores or Amazon.com would have been a better idea.
Writers sometimes give books they've written or have stories in as gifts to family and friends. Last year, I planned to give a Christmas anthology, which included two of my stories, to three of my close friends. But I hesitated. Would they think it was a new form of bragging? Or would they appreciate having some of my work in print? Would they realize I only wanted to share something personal with them? I felt torn and finally decided against it. But this year, I ordered three of the books on Amazon and insribed each one, also signing my name by each of my stories. The recipients reacted favorably, much to my relief.
I received one book as a gift this year. It's called The Gift of Years with a subtitle of Growing Older Gracefully. Joan Chittister is the author. I'm about halfway through it and find it filled with wisdom and good advice for the senior years and those nearing that stage of life. Too many people read only fiction and thus miss a wonderful world of excellent nonfiction books.
For me, the pros far outshine the cons in giving and receiving books for gifts. I would never discourage spreading print publications far and wide. Reading material, for me, is like manna from Heaven.