December 25, 2009
Season’s Greetings to one and all!
If the turkey (or ham or whatever you eat on this holiday) is in the oven, everyone has opened their gifts and you have a few minutes, sit down, take a load off, and read something.
Each and every member of my family asked for books this year. Our oldest son, Nathan, now 17 years old and taller than his dad, asked for authors like China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, and H.P. Lovecraft. I believe he received over ten books as gifts this year as well as a hefty gift card to Amazon.
Eric, age 13, and obsessed with weaponry designed to kill zombies asked for Neil Gaiman too, but for a younger crowd. We got him The Graveyard Book, about a boy raised by ghosts. He also got The Zombie Survival Guide so the next time we go to Home Depot, we’ll know exactly what we should by should the Zombie Apocalypse of 2012 come to pass. I wonder if I should be concerned that he’s had the book less than 24 hours and is on page 150.
Maisy, age 10, asked for the Guinness Book of World Records for 2010. We spent some time yesterday studying the longest fingernails, the longest hair, the biggest tumor . . . it only goes downhill from there.
Chris, my husband, got stacks of books: gem and rock books, landscape painting, travel guides, Stephen King, and I can’t even think what else.
And me? Of course I asked for books. Mary Rhinehart, Agatha Christie, all the 2W authors, and even Neil Gaiman for me as well.
As everyone opened their gifts I marveled at how many books we’ve added to our libraries in this house. I don’t mean to make our kids sound like they are total nerds . . . of course they play video games and these were asked for (and received) this Christmas. But they all asked for books. And isn’t it amazing what a great gift a book is? To give a book is to give another world, another life, another amazing set of experiences totally different from that of the recipient and yet something that will affect him / her for a lifetime.
I’d like to take the credit for instilling a desire for reading in my children. But I can’t. I encourage them, of course. The school encourages them as well. But in the end, I believe it is what can be uncovered in books that sells itself to people. Because anything can be found in books. Anything. And everything.
So while I’d like to beat this dead horse a little longer, I’m can’t. I’ve got some reading to do.
Merry Christmas everyone!