My Christmas shopping is almost complete and as I look at my list of purchases, I was surprised to see the lack of books. Before I started scolding myself, I examined my reasons and found them mildly acceptable. Books are pretty personal gifts because people have their own likes/dislikes and I feel sad when a book I've specifically bought for someone doesn't excite them as much as it excited me. (This was the case when I bought someone a copy of Twilight). I prefer giving gift cards to book stores because having "free money" to buy whatever book grabs your fancy is a wonderful treat. It's very tricky once you know someone's reading preferences to buy something they don't already have. My daughter is a voracious reader and it's hard to keep track of what volume in what series she owns. (Her father is much better at the tracking than I am and purchased for her Fairy Idol Kanon volume 4 and Vermonia volume 4.)Instead of buying books for friends, I've also made donations through Plan Canada and Canada Helps to worthy causes, many of whom support literacy. For instance, for $60 you can give a "library in a box" to schools serving remote communities in impoverished nations. Tonight I'll be wrapping the presents I bought (although I didn't hide them under the bed this year).
The "under the bed" title refers to a conversation I've been having via email with Sharon Jennings, a marvellous author. During the winter break from school, one of my goals is to read as many of the OLA's Forest of Reading nominated books so that when the program starts in earnest in January, I'll be ready to chat with student readers. I read Jennings' "Home Free" and was bothered by one particular section (about a book under a bed). No one else I knew had read "Home Free" yet, so I emailed the author about my questions and internal debate. She replied to me right away. Her explanations have made me feel a bit better about the inclusion of that scene in the novel. She was very polite and maybe in the future, with her permission, I'll share some of her insights here on the blog.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!