What else can you buy that gives hours of fun, kick starts your imagination, requires no batteries, and is powered simply by words? I’ve read so many fantastic books this year that have transformed my combined 90-minute commute into time I look forward to. And it continues most nights—when I read to my sons who are genuinely excited for story time. Without exaggerating, if a hidden camera were to capture us reading together, beaming our image into every household across the country, audiences would think this is staged, but it’s real. You can’t make this stuff up.
Since I work in publishing, one of the perks is that I get a lot of complimentary books. I was able to secure a copy of the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid and passed it to my older son, whose eyes popped out of his head as he exclaimed how he could not believe he had a copy even before the stores did. My wife confirmed on her computer that Amazon.com did not have the book either, which prompted my son to openly contemplate a future in publishing when he grows up.
Book gifts are personal. The books you give signify how well you know someone. You can add to a book’s meaning by inscribing it, so your thoughts become a permanent part of the book. When you inscribe a book, the significance of the writing and the beauty of the cover gets transferred to you, and whenever the recipient of your gift picks up that book, he or she is forever reminded of you.
Finally, as a publisher I have behind the scenes knowledge of what goes into the making of a book. I can tell you that the books we have published since 1993 represent years of dedicated work by a host of talented individuals. Their combined efforts are the heart and soul behind what makes books so desirable in the first place. I am curious to know how many of you out there make it a tradition to give books as gifts for the holidays. What books have you given as gifts, and why? Happy holidays, everyone.