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Ten Reasons You (and Everyone You Know) Should Give Books This Holiday Season
Written by
The Salonniere
December 2010
Written by
The Salonniere
December 2010

ONE: When you give someone a book, you create a way to share an experience that will continue long after the holidays. Months later, you can ask: "What did you think of the part where he left her?", and the book might mean the world to both of you. Unlikely when the altnerative question is: "What did you think of the linen spritzer?"

TWO: Books are easy to wrap. Have you ever tried to wrap a Round Cocotte? Well forget about it!

THREE: JK Rowling needs the money. No, wait: Nora Roberts needs the money. No, wait: Any writer not famous enough to be mentioned in this list needs the money! And more than the money, they need to know they did not labor all those years to write something that doesn't deserve just a little bit of love.

(FYI: Jeff Bezos does not need the money. He is building a personal space-port in West Texas.
Consider an independent bookstore. )

FOUR: Books are the best deal there is. The National Book Award-winning author Marilynne Robinson, for example, spends years on her novels, sometimes decades. And she writes sentences like this:

"Imagine a Carthage sown with salt, and all the sowers gone, and the seeds lain however long in the earth, till there rose finally in vegetable profusion leaves and trees of rime and brine. What flowering would there be in such a garden? Light would force each salt calyx to open in prisms, and to fruit heavily with bright globes of water--peaches and grapes are little more than that, and where the world was salt there would be greater need of slaking. For need can blossom into all the compensations it requires."

"Housekeeping" is available in paperback for $11.20. That is $1.21 more than it would cost you to buy a Mr. Bill Plush Pet Toy from Bed Bath and Beyond.

FIVE: Most people who aren't nine would rather fall asleep with a book by their pillow than with this year's number one bestselling toy (so far): the Pillow Pet. Though I have to confess a soft spot for Miss Sassy Cat.

Books don't break unless you love them so much their spines collapse. And that's a good thing.

SEVEN: Books don't get lost. If you read a book, it's yours forever, no matter what happens to the pages its written on.

EIGHT: Books don't come in the wrong size, or in the wrong color, or with batteries not included. (That's your eReader -- not the book!)

NINE: Books don't judge their readers. But books invite the kind of judgment that elevates the discourse and sometimes changes the course of things altogether.

TEN: A lot of presents say more about you than they do about the person you give them to. A book speaks for itself.

Why do you think books are the best gifts to give this year? (If you prefer Pillow Pets, please don't tell me why.) And please, stop by the She Writes Gift-Book Recomm-engine today to encourage others with your invaluable help at choosing just the right book for even the world's toughest customer.

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  • Cindy Daniels

    Love this post! Especially #6 - whenever I see somebody whose books are in pristine condition I think, wow, you must not like books very much. But when someone lends me a book that's corners are curled, pages are dog-eared, spine is cracking and cover held on with tape I get excited - I know this is a book that was well and truly loved!

    Is it going too far to say I'd rather get books as a gift than chocolate?

  • Bronwyn Mauldin

    I love this post! This is why all my family members get books every holiday season.

    In a similar vein, here in So Cal a group of us literary folks have been encouraging people to buy books published by local, independent presses at local, independent bookstores. http://guerrillareads.com/2010-holidays-on-a-budget