It might come as no surprise, but books are my favourite gift to give for Christmas. It essentially started in earnest when I was working in a bookshop (inevitably, as I had discount). One of my wonderful regulars – he would come in every week and literally buy everything off the book list I’d written for him without questioning me – first suggested it. I always gave him books I had read and enjoyed, and he told me I should do the same for everyone else. So I began with The Book Thief. I have told you about The Book Thief before – the only book I’ve ever read twice in a row. So I bought a load of copies and gave it to everyone. The next year I decided to get books appropriate to each person. I chose books that fitted with their personalities, or things that reminded me of them, or books that related to a private joke we had shared. And the year after that, and the year after that, and so on. Always books – books I have read, or books I know that they would love. It’s the same when I “lend” books. With the exception of a handful of titles I can’t bear to part with, I never “lend” a book – I gift it. I don’t believe a book should be returned – its story continues elsewhere, and I believe that the person I gave it to should pass it on to someone else and them to someone else. I believe a book isn’t just a story on paper, it’s a story of its life too. A book should continue its story. Which is why I love giving books for Christmas – it’s the start of a new story.
What’s your favourite book, and where did it come from? And what book would you choose to give for Christmas?