It's that time of the year...Christmas merely a few weeks / days ....seems like seconds away...and for some reason we have a lot of birthdays towards the end and beginning of the year. So it's present time. Thinking, thinking...what to give?

And the answer of course is...books. Yep. The old fashioned, actual able to be held in your hand, kind of books.

Most years over half of my givees receive a book of some description.  Even those that have kindles - or read everything via Ipads and Iphones - I give books.  Mostly because a lot of these books are 'coffee table' books. The kind that have the most amazing photos...where you have to slowly flip through....pause, admire...not on a small or smallish screen but in a good A3 kind of size.

And yes, I still believe  in the actual touch and feel of a book (can't be beaten).

This time of year I'm in book shops like a kid in a candy store. Eyes wide, transfixed smile on my face as I wander around, thinking would this one be suitable for this person...or aha here is the bio that such and such wanted.....or what a beautiful book, who of discerning taste would appreciate this.

Even more so with children. To make things harder there are a few children that I'm buying for this year that I don't really know but I'm still buying books.  My belief is that if I do a good enough job of choosing books that will interest them, I'm part of the way to building a love for books.

 I know it's a cliche but books are vital for children.

It's a form of escape, it's a learning tool, it's a discovery....if they read from a young age, then the world is theirs.

My daughter is an avid reader, always has been from a very young child. My son not as much....but I still give him books...or comics, graphic novels, magazines.

To all those grandparents out there that are horrified that their grandchildren read 'comics' my comment is that they are still reading. (we are asked this so much in the library)

And reading as we all know, is such an important part of life.

So here's to Christmas and birthdays. Here's to the art of book buying ---the giving of books---and hopefully a few will find their mark. Will take the reader to another time and place....

As the National Year of Reading draws to a close, I hope that I have helped in some small way.


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