Yep, I’m that person. The person who buys books for everyone on her holiday list. What to get Dad who returns nearly everything I buy him? Books. What to get my nephew whose Japanamation jargon resembles a foreign language? Books. And what to get my niece who, like me when I was a kid, aspires to be a writer? Why, blank books, of course.
One of my favorite blogs, Style Maniac, recently teamed up with independent bookseller Books & Books of Westhampton Beach, NY, to launch a month-long celebration of the art of giving and receiving books. The Blogs to Books challenge invited readers to choose one book and one recipient to give it to, whether that person be a family member, friend, or stranger. The givers were then invited to share their experiences online, and Books & Books compiled an in-store display of favorite books chosen by bloggers who participated in the program.
Since I love to read, and love to support other writers, I took the challenge and gave a copy of the The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, to my mom. The novel is about Ernest and Hadley Hemingway and the Lost Generation of writers and artists in 1920’s Paris. I thought my mom would enjoy it because she’s a very creative person and a long-time lover of art. When I was a kid, she volunteered in her free time to teach art appreciation at my school (we called her the “Picture Lady”). My Catholic grade school didn’t have the funds to pay someone to teach art history, so my mom took it upon herself. At the time, I thought it was super embarrassing when she would stand in front of the classroom and show us slides of Renaissance and Impressionist paintings on an overhead projector. She once even dressed up as Vincent VanGogh. Now, as a working mom myself, I know just how little free time she must have had in those days, so I am touched that she would spend it with my class to share her love and knowledge of art.
Have you recently shared a book with a loved one? Will you be giving books as holiday gifts? If so, leave a comment and share. I’m always looking for titles to add to my ever-growing “to read” list.