My cousin sent me a text with a photo of children’s books. She captioned the image with you gave me all of these books as gifts over the years. I don’t remember getting her any of them but I’m glad I did. It spurred some thoughts.
Gift-giving is not my top love language, however, I love books so it makes sense that I would want to pass along literature in any form to a younger cousin. I’ve given books at baby showers, birthdays, Christmas, and just because.
I was a book lover before I ever realized it or even labelled myself one. I wonder where it came from? I wonder, when others were buying their little cousins stuffies and toys, I was buying books—why? It made me think that perhaps, innately, books were important enough to give as gifts, to write an inscription on the inside cover, hoping that the person who got the gift would appreciate it as much as the giver—me. They would find it years later and recall the past moment.
When I give to keep
I have a rule that if I’m not willing to lose it I won’t loan it. Serious. I won’t loan anything that I’m not willing to part with just in case the person I loan something to loses it. I never want to taint a friendship over stuff. Same with books. I don’t loan them. I give them. I fell in love with Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson. When a friend asked to borrow it I said yes. And then I snuck off purchased a copy and gave the copy to my friend. I told her to keep it. I did this for another friend, and another friend, and another friend. The gift of a book I refused to part with. This was a benefit (and a gift) to several people I know as well as a strategy to not have to part with something I love.
Back to my cousin
It’s been about twenty-five years, more or less and Alex still has these books which means my mission was accomplished. The books were important enough for her to take with her when she left her parent’s house, and when she moved into her first home.
They are sentimental to her and I’m glad.
Shepherd and Wolfe
When David and I started our novel-writing career (we were script writers first) one of the things that moved us was that people not only purchased books for themselves but they purchased our books to give as gifts to others, signed by us, and given to their special person. Our work was gift worth. How moving! Sweet, memorable, meaningful sentimental.
As the holiday season approaches, we think of—the gift of books.
David recently sent me a picture of Shepherd’s Call (our fourth book) at Indigo Regina on a Canadian Writer’s table—a pretty swell piece of real estate in the bookstore. The sign read Discover Your Community. Love local, read regional, celebrate Canadian. I was tickled. I don’t know if it will ever get old for me to see our books in the stores—an opportunity for local folks to purchase Shepherd’s Call and give it away to someone they love just like I did with my cousin so many years ago.
Following that we participated in the Cathedral Winter Market on November 19th, a market that has been pretty successful for us in the past. And it was again this year. It was a chance to spend some time in our community setting, feeling the approaching festive season, meeting new readers, signing books, and sending people home with what we feel is a pretty terrific stocking stuffer.
They say the best gifts are gifts you love, so having readers purchase books to give as a gift is simply awesome.
I hope you get a book or two this holiday season.
As always, thank you for reading lovelies.