Give books generously this Xmas

November 30, 2010
By

Any regular readers here will know how I feel about Xmas and pretty much any other religious festival. Or any religion for that matter. But I do try to enter into the spirit of a small part of Xmas, that being the whole hanging out with family and sharing gifts thing. Of course, that’s actually nothing to do with the Christ Mass that the holiday is based upon, but the Christians only stole the Roman Sol Invictus festival anyway, so it’s all bollocks. My point is, at this time of year we try to get together with loved ones and share gifts and food. That’s a good thing.

I don’t have much in the way of family these days, but I have my in-laws, who are all very nice people to be around, and I have friends that are as close, if not closer, than family. Catching up with these people and having a big feed, spending time together, sharing gifts, it’s all very important and enjoyable stuff. I always hope that during this time some of the stuff I get will be books. And it usually is. As far as I’m concerned, there are few better gifts than a book. I’m sure I could think of some things I’d rather have than a book, but this is not the place to explore my fantasties – you can read my novels for that.

I also plan to give away a lot of books this year. I dig giving people a book as a gift that I know, or at least suspect very strongly, that they’ll really like. Perhaps one of the biggest drawbacks of the current ebook revolution is that we won’t have so many solid books to wrap up in silly paper and hand over as presents. Regardless, in the meantime, I’ll still be giving a lot of books as gifts this Xmas.

Which brings me to another point. I’ve decided to start giving books away all the time. I’m basically starting a new policy as from this Xmas. If anyone asks me if they can borrow any particular book from now on, I’m not going to lend it to them. I’m going to give it to them. If it’s a special book, a rare or limited edition, or a signed copy or something like that, then I’ll say no, they can’t borrow it. If it’s just a book that anyone can still buy off the shelf, I’ll give it to them. If I really like it, I’ll get myself another one, or look out for it in secondhand bookstores.

Now, don’t immediately think to abuse my new found book philanthropy and start asking me for books left, right and centre. This is something that will happen naturally. Someone sees a book in my house, expresses an interest, asks if they can borrow it and I’ll say, “Here, have it.” I think that’ll make everyone involved feel good and the book goes on to do its thing for more people instead of just sitting on a shelf.

Try it. You might like it.

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12 Responses to Give books generously this Xmas

  1. Ganymeder on November 30, 2010 at 11:48 am

    Great plan! It’s always a great feeling when you surprise someone with a gift instead of a loan. :)

  2. alan on November 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Exactly!

  3. Red Bakersen on November 30, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    That’s very kind of you. And a great idea that I hope catches on and spreads like zombification.

    I wouldn’t turn down a book for Christmas, and I hate Christmas. I don’t celebrate, I don’t like receiving gifts. I so like giving gifts to my friends throughout the year, but not for Christmas. Bah humbug!

  4. alan on November 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Yeah, bah humbug. But giving and receiving books is the best way to ignore Xmas, I reckon.

  5. Damien on November 30, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I love books at Christmas and it just wouldn’t be the same to say “Here’s a USB stick. I KNOW you’ll like it.” Love the idea of autogifting too.

    Given your religious leanings (or lack thereof) you ought to get together and celebrate Giftstuff this December 25th.

  6. alan on November 30, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I’ll just do everything I can to ignore it, as I usually do.

  7. Red Bakersen on November 30, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Agreed. Have a happy book-giving day!

  8. Graham on November 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Great idea.

    So, about that entire set of Lone Wolf and Cub…. ;)

  9. James Frost on December 1, 2010 at 12:20 am

    Can we see a photo of your bookshelf?

  10. Damien on December 1, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I haven’t looked and Lone Wolf stuff in years! Just did a quick search for old times sake and realised a whole whack of them are available for free online at http://www.projectaon.org/en/Main/Home

  11. alan on December 1, 2010 at 11:03 am

    See, you guys are abusing the system already! My 28 volume Lone Wolf & Cub collection is staying right where it is!

    Damien – that link is nothing to do with the Lone Wolf & Cub in question. It’s this stuff we’re talking about – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Wolf_and_Cub

  12. Damien on December 2, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Ha! I remember some of those way back when, but it’s a bit fuzzy. I’ll have to look into the manga a bit closer when I get a chance.

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Alan Baxter, Author

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