"So, what are you doing?"
"Oh, just going through my Amazon wish list."
"Oh, yeah? What's that?"
(sarcastically) "Where you can find me a present for the holidays?"
"Well, yes. That's why I am asking."
(Filed under, duh conversations with the BF)
Yay! Presents! On Amazon!
Anyways, one of the blogs I read, Debbie's World of Books had a few recent posts on giving the gift of reading this holiday season, and I read it and was like, "How did I get on this blog?" ...
But seriously, I agree with her and this mission.
Even if her list of books (so far, historicals) isn't for me, as much. (With a few exectpions - notably, Phillipa Gregory, the Book Thief, The Pillars of the Earth and The Heretic Queen and the bloody Jack series).
See, I love to read - have since I learned how to read in English (my first language, Portuguese, my second languages, Italian and Spanish, and my fifth language, French, all pale in comparison to my literacy in English ... it is sad, but true. I haven't finished a whole Italian/Spanish/French book since High school, and the Portuguese one on my nightstand right now is actually a translation from the Spanish ...) I have not really, well, stopped. And I keep building my library - my own little book fort - with my literary conquests.
And there is reason for this that goes beyond the fact that "I like it". I mean, books have been described as "homes for the soul" - and there is a reason. In books you encounter passages and characters and emotions that reflect your own self, and your own reactions and experiences - everyone is different, and that is why there are so many books out there. I think that reading allows people the luxury of being outside themselves and in someone else's head. And I think that's important to retain our own humanity.
For the most part, the days of old are gone: there is not much of the sitting around and meticulously passing down stories from generation to generation (though there still are these things - my father's father loves to tell us stories in old Portuguese, and my sister has had the foresight to tape these so we can have them in future), and in losing that, we have lost some of the closeness we've had through this activity.
Books don't replace that, but they do attempt to bridge the gap, and I think that is important.
For her birthday, Easter and Xmas, every year, I buy my Goddaughter books. So far in her library, she had the entire of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Ella Enchanted, The Hunger Games Trilogy, the L.J. Smith Nightworld Collection (the originals!), Caroline B Cooney books, etc. - all the things I loved as a child and more.
And how do they look?
Why? Because she hates reading. How we are related, I don't know. My sisters, Blondie and Button, they used to be like that. Then I introduced Blondie to Ella Enchanted in the eighth grade and Buttons the Lori Foster SBC Fighter series last year, and now they're book hoarders like me and my Mom (My father, sadly, sticks to his CNN programs and occasional self help book on tape). Over the years I have come to realize that reading is not the same for everyone, but I will still push reading on people.
BF is very good at avoiding it ... until I brought home a Jasper Fforde book. Now he waits, impatiently, for the next Thursday Next book, forgetting he bought he Shades of Grey to tide me over (he claims he bought it for me, but when I opened it last year, it was already bookmarked ... gr).
The point is this: Books are the gift that keep on giving. So give.
What's on your Xmas list?