The Art of Giving Books
There’s something about books that makes them the ideal gift for children.
Perhaps it’s the magical stories they contain. Perhaps it’s the life lessons they teach. Perhaps it’s the fact that as an adult, you feel proud knowing that you’re providing something that has the power to impact a child’s educational success positively for years to come, and that it could never be a waste of money. Perhaps it’s the anticipation of the quality time you’ll get to spend with a child reading the gifted book, and the special bond that that will solidify. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that reading is a quiet, sedentary activity in the flurry of a busy day.
But perhaps, it’s a combination of all these reasons. Perhaps they blend together to form the inextricable power of the gift of a good book.
While books in and of themselves are “a gift you can open again and again” (Garrison Keillor), I wouldn’t recommend that you just run to the nearest bookstore, grab any old book, and hand it over in the plastic bag it came in. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still not a BAD gift. But the giving of books can be an art.
Just this morning, there was a knock on my door. As I trundled down the stairs in my pajamas and peeked out through the peephole, I could see the back of the mail man as he moved on to the the next house. Excitedly opening the door, I found a thin package addressed to me, lying on the doorstep. Seeing it was from my mom, I eagerly ripped it open to find a beautifully wrapped book. The wrapping paper was gorgeous, and the note explained why she’d thought of me when she saw this picture book. You see, it’s a book about nurturing your ideas until they can take flight on their own—very timely as I work on getting my startup off the ground.
My mother’s gift perfectly exemplified this art of giving books I mentioned earlier. It’s not complex, but it is important. It involves thoughtfully choosing a book based on your knowledge of what is going on in the recipient’s life, taking the time to write a card or inscription inside of the book explaining your reasoning, and putting some thought into the packaging. Who doesn’t like the chance to actually unwrap a gift?
My grandma believed in the power of children’s books, and even though she was never wealthy, each year I can remember during my childhood for our birthday we would receive a book in the mail with a handwritten inscription. This is doubly impressive since I have 70+ cousins on that side of my family! She chose to gift something that she believed would be of value to us, and now each time we read those books, and see those inscriptions, we think of her, even though she is no longer with us. By practicing the art of book-gifting, you can turn a present into an experience and a treasured memory.
About the Author
Jane Tanner is a co-founder of Bookroo, a monthly children’s book subscription service that believes in the art of giving books. Each month, Bookroo Box recipients get 2-3 individually wrapped children’s books to add to their home collection. To gift a Bookroo Box, visit them here.