Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why Give A Book As A Gift?

I've seen this picture on facebook several times and wanted to share it with all of you, in case you had not seen it somewhere. Even if you have seen it before, it should warm any reader's heart. A Christmas tree made of books is probably the highlight at some bookstore. Maybe they should run a contest to see who can guess the number of books it took to create this tree.

It does make me think about giving books as a gift, whether for Christmas, birthday or any other special occasion. I love books but it doesn't mean that everyone does, so be careful whom you choose to gift with a book. I can list any number of people among my family and friends who would receive the book graciously, set it aside and never open the cover. So, those people do not receive books from me.

You know who among your circle are the readers. Those are the ones you can gift with a book, but give serious thought to the genre. You might love historical fiction but your cousin, Lucy, devours only science fiction novels. So, don't buy a Civil War novel for her. That sounds like a no-brainer, I know, but there are people who select books for others based only on their own likes and dislikes.

When you give a book as a gift, do you inscribe the inside cover? Some people will always do that and others will never do so. What if the person already has the book and wants to return this one? That's always a possibility, but go ahead, take a chance and inscribe it. I love going back later and reading the inscription again. Somehow, it is even more meaningful later on. Give careful thought to what you will write. Once it's there, it's forever.

A book is a very easy present to wrap (or bag!). I purchased something for a brother-in-law a few weeks ago for his Christmas present which I thought a wonderful gift for him. But I have to mail it and it is an unwieldy size. Suddenly, it has become a problem rather than a great gift. I could have sent him a book so much more easily, but he is one of those who would most likely never open the cover..

A book is a gift that the recipient can read more than once. It can be tucked into a row of books on the bookshelf and pulled out over and over. Or if it's the perfect coffee table book, it can be displayed and become a conversation piece when guests come over.

If selecting a book for a gift is a problem, a gift card to a local bookstore or Amazon might work quite well. A couple of years ago, someone sent me an Amazon gift card. It was great fun deciding what books I would purchase with the card.

I'm a great proponent of gifting children with books from infancy on. My grandchildren have received books from us for many special occasions and sometimes just for no reason at all other than the fact that this grandmother encourages reading in a bigtime way. Kids today are interested in technology type of things, something that does something but I still want them to learn to appreciate what a solid book in hand can do for them. It informs, entertains, transports to other places in the world and can be a lot of fun.

You might not create a Christmas tree made of books but you can give a book to someone. Books feed the mind and soothe the soul.

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