Slice of Life Tuesday- The Gift of Giving Books
I have always derived immense pleasure from giving books as gifts. It has evolved as a habit of a lifetime. Special occasions such as birthdays and Christmases set me to searching for books to match my target reader.
Matching a particular book to a reader is a challenge, I enthusiastically accept. Establishing strong connections between the reader and the words I unearth, drives my search; brings me joy. For this reason, the time spent book browsing for suitable titles, never fails to deliver immense pleasure. This time in bookshops is time well spent.
The outcome of all this exploring remains uncertain, but the act of giving possesses such untold potential for any one book I find to work its magic upon its reader.
The strike rate will never be perfect. I remain undeterred. Some books only reach a select number of hearts. Not all books possess the power to be transformative. That's okay. You give and you hope. You give with the highest hopes. You give- that's what matters.
I also give books away to students I meet in the various schools I visit.
Sometimes, I give copies of my own books, and sometimes I give away books I purchase from second hand bookshops. It is gratifying to provide the books with a ‘second’ chance to work their magic on a reader, particularly an impressionable, yet ravenous reader. Literary treasures deserve to be read; not sit on a shelf at the back of a shop gathering dust. There is so much literary treasure out there deserving of rediscovery.
I spread a selection of books on the classroom floor and invite selected students to choose a book that appeals. The delight in their eyes when making a selection, coupled with the sense of disbelief that the book they are holding is theirs to keep, serves to remind me how very precious books remain. It is especially so for children who are often coming from homes where books may be a rare commodity.
I occasionally leave copies of books in cafes- a gift to an unseen reader. I place an inscription inside, inviting the recipient to either read it, then pass it on, or place it in the hands of a reader they believe will savour the words.
The inner joy derived from giving books as gifts remains boundless. It sustains me.
‘For it is in giving that we receive.’Francis of Assisi