[Home] [Weblog] [The Bibliothecary] [Driving the Quill] [Library][Bookmarks]

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Chapter Sixty-Seven, in which Books make great Gifts

Today I woke up and discovered the postman had stuffed my mailbox with the new Common Reader Holiday Catalog. And I didn't even leave any cookies and milk!

In the address to his readers, James Mustich says books "charm, strengthen, and inform the mind and heart."
Making a gift of a book speaks of our desire for significant conversation. It's an emblem of respect between giver and recipient.
Last week we donated over 400 children's books to be distributed with annual holiday food baskets given to those in need. Your Bibliothecary made a formal presentation to the local Rotary Club, whose members were absolutely thrilled. After reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, we saw photographs of New Orleans from a pastor who had volunteered there for two weeks, and listened to his story. We then talked a little about our shop and made the donation. We had the means, and we wanted to make a gesture of community.

The local newspaper printed a picture and story about our event. Response has been positive. We have two billboards in town right now, and a third to go back up at the end of the month. We have extended our hours to give those who work all day the opportunity to visit in the evening. Internet sales are very good, and the website is getting hits. Waldenbooks has even sent readers to us in search of out-of-print books.

Despite all this, traffic in our store is all but non-existent. What we hoped would be a strong month has begun, since Thanksgiving, with less than a whimper--it's been a whimp! Is reading such a solitary activity that reader's do not even share books with loved ones any more? Haven't people heard that books make great gifts?

We are enjoying the catalog from A Common Reader, using it to make our own list for Santa. We are also searching for the gifts our loved ones will be receiving with best wishes. Milton said, "A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." What better gift could one make?


  1. The Book Catalog Fairy strikes again! And I do hope sales pick up for you - you've surely got some good karma coming from such a huge book donation.

  2. agreed. books for all this year.

  3. You've inspired me. I think I want to write something about why booksmake the best Christmas presents. If there became a whole chain of us doing it, who knows what we might accomplish?