Trolling through my Twitter page this morning, I came upon a fellow tweeter (@brendamantz) asking, “What happens if you’ve given someone a Kindle book as a gift and they already have it? Can they choose a different book?” Beside the validity of this question (one I would like to know the answer to), I began to think about the last time I was given a book as a gift. The unbearably disappointing answer is: never. I couldn’t believe it. No one has ever given me a book to read. (Mom, feel free to interject here…BUT giving me a journal is not a book to read, although I am forever grateful for your gifts of support.)
On my book bag is a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.” (Frown and sigh) I have given countless numbers of books to people as gifts, and I think I was more excited watching them open these gifts than they were to receive them. I even took the time out to write a little inscription in the cover with an encouraging note and my favorite lines from the book. What happened to the act of reciprocity here, people? I am sorry if my gift left you feeling like this little boy: Books for Christmas.
While I do realize that many people do not share in my passion for reading, I still can’t believe I don’t have one friend who would like to share a book that has touched their life in some form or fashion with me. Everyone knows I collect books like teenagers collect songs on iTunes, and more in the hoarding sense of the word. Now I am sounding like a selfish little child on Christmas morning who did not get everything she wanted from Santa, I know. But, I guess the moral of this little story, or epiphany if you will, is that we need to give more books. If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from these people:
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” – Charles W. Eliot
“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde
“The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.” – Andrew Ross
“A house without books is like a room without windows.” – Heinrich Mann
“When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.” – Erasmus
So, I guess I will continue being my own best friend and buy myself some books. I just bought my first book for my Kindle on iPad yesterday: Jessie Carty’s touching collection of poems, Paper House. And I will continue to give books to my friends and family in hopes they will pretend to like them more and maybe even read a page or two.
P.S. If you have more quotes on books or reading to share, please do! I would love to read them. 🙂