But books and bookstores are thriving.
If there were a theme to our family Christmas presents, it would have to be books. Every one of us received at least one book, some more than one. No kindles or kobos or e-readers for my family, we are all about the old fashioned, physical turning of the pages. We exchanged books not only for reading, but also for writing and for drawing. I will have to start journaling again in my pretty notebook, something that went by the wayside once I started blogging.
I was frantically trying to finish one book I had bought as a present, until I realized I was enjoying it so much that I wanted my own copy. Books are always fun to give to people. It is, in a way, my default gift, but not always because I can't think of anything else. In a strange way, it feels more personal to buy someone a book, more like sharing a bit of yourself. Sometimes, it is a book that I have read and loved and want others to experience. Sometimes, it is one that I have come across and think that a certain person might enjoy. I don't think I have ever been disappointed in getting a book as a gift. I have been introduced to authors I'd not heard of, and to ones I thought I wouldn't like. I once received a book that I waited three years to read - it took that long before I was
desperate enough interested in it. Still, I kept it on my shelf, always thinking that one day I might pick it up even though a voice in the back of my mind said "but you don't like Stephen King". I discovered, maybe I did, after all.
This year I got an anthology of short stories. It is perfect for leaving in the car for emergency reading. I like to have something in hand when sitting in a restaurant on my own and a novel is too long and sometimes too engrossing; it can be hard to find the right spot for a break. But a short story is perfect for holding one's attention for just long enough. And this book is a collection of new writers, so every story is a true surprise. The other book I got was the darling of the literary world in 2011, The Sisters Brothers. Up for numerous awards and given gallons of praise by every reviewer, but somehow, something about it just didn't appeal. So I never bothered with it and had no intentions of reading it. But since I now have it in my possession, I decided to look through it before rearranging my shelves to make it fit. Haven't been able to put it down for the past two days. It is different. Definitely a unique style. And a darkly funny, offbeat western about a reluctant outlaw and his murderous brother.
I have discovered a new side to myself.