Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Sir Richard Steele ~
I can’t tell you the number of times in the past few weeks I’ve heard someone say, “I don’t know what to get my mom, dad, sister, best friend – insert the role of the wonderful person in your life – for Christmas. S/he has everything!”
We all know that no one truly has everything. What you’re really saying is that you don’t have a clue what to get them that is fresh and new and speaks to their soul beyond Christmas morning. Something special they’ll remember having even if they don’t remember it came from you. A gift they’ll carry inside them forever.
It’s why I think the finest gift you can give to a reader is another book. The finest gift you can give to a writer is another reader…and a book. 🙂
It may seem simplistic, but a good book will never go out of style. The presentation hasn’t changed much over the years, even though many are now available through Kindle and Nook and other hand held devices. They’re all generally rectangular with covers and lots and lots of words inside. You can carry them everywhere you go. And many of them reach inside us and touch our souls forever.
In this fast-paced world of electronics, games, home-delivered DVDs, online TV program downloads, etc. it’s too easy to miss the simple pleasures…like reading a new story. A good book can carry you into a fantasy world so completely you forget the refrigerator just went on the fritz and its replacement has traumatized your credit card. A wonderful story can calm you after a frenetic day at work so you have the energy to smile at your child and snuggle with him. You can explore new worlds where characters just like you find alternative ways to resolve their problems, and experience vicariously that moment when a man and a woman discover their lust has grown into love or a villain is served justice. You may even leave the planet altogether and live a completely different life as a space princess for several hours.
I’m a reader who has stacks and stacks – fine, entire walls of bookshelves – filled with my TBR (To Be Read) books. I’m now the proud owner of a Kindle which is stacking my novels a bit more neatly. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be thrilled to receive another book. Or two. Or half a dozen.
If I’m lucky, someday soon, I’ll find myself filling my fantasy of sitting on a beach in Maui pulling one story after another from a bag in the sand. Food, drink, and the occasional decadent bonbon magically delivered and cleaned up by a six-foot elf with naughty eyes. Minimal clothing. Even more minimal distractions like phones and comput….okay, maybe just enough wireless internet service to chat with friends but nothing that resembles w.o.r.k.
Oops, sorry – got a little sidetracked there with my letter to Santa! 🙂 I’m pretty sure the jolly guy isn’t handing out Maui vacations this year. He looks a bit skinny to me, poor dear. And my own naughty-eyed, six-foot elf could use a vacation, too, so maybe I can fetch my own bonbons.
Anyway, back to my musings. If your hard-to-buy-for loved one is a reader your shopping dilemma can be easily solved. Find out what new releases she’s dying to read. Ferret out the name of his favorite author. Listen to your friends and discover new authors to introduce to your reader. Encourage that little munchkin in your life to read with a fun new book about making best friends or meeting trolls, squirrels, or friendly dragons that live in their room.
If your reader is also a writer, gift her with Christmas cheer by buying her book. There are so many wonderful authors to be discovered on the bookstore retail shelves, on Kindle and Nook. Another gift your favorite author is sure to love is a review of their latest release on Amazon, on the Barnes & Noble website. It’s a gift that costs you nothing but the time it takes to share your excitement about the story the author’s created for you.
You don’t need a fancy list for those “hard-to-buy-for” people in your life. You don’t even have to check it twice. No one has everything they want if they’re a reader. A book is unique, one of a kind, and there are thousands of them out there waiting to be unwrapped by some lucky “hard-to-buy-for” loved one.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me while I dash off to Amazon to make up my list for Santa. He’s going to be a busy guy if he’s going to load up the fifty or so novels I want! Ohhhh, I want that one by Cherry Adair and that one by Barbara Freethy and that one by Allison Brennan and that one by Cynthia Woo….