In my journey towards a simpler life I began considering Christmas. This holiday is dear to me; I am ever on the search for ways to make each one uniquely memorable and this often involves the gifts I give. I don’t like to merely give gifts for the sake of gift-giving. The process of finding and preparing the just-right item for those special people in my life is a significant part of making my Christmas season festive and poignant each year.
This year it is no different and, in fact, the process has begun now. I have long been a devoted book collector. I own a tremendously cherished library of books in all genres. They range from a college nutrition textbook to the New England primer. I have books in French and German, as well as the original Noah Webster dictionary. I believe that a glimpse into someone’s library is truly a peek into their soul. With this in mind, I have decided to sift through my library in order to select a few books that I would like to pass on to certain dear people this Christmas. I am handpicking books that I enjoyed reading and that I believe would be a good match for them. As I select each book, I am also going through it and copying down the highlighted portions along with the written notes I scribbled inside each one. This is allowing me to refresh my memory about what I gleaned from that particular volume and in passing it on with my marks inside of it I am sharing a unique journey with the friend I give it to.
There are times when I waver and consider returning that literary friend to its former spot on my bookshelf; then I regain my conviction as I scan the titles of all of the books that I have not yet read. By relinquishing some of my paper and ink friends to new owners, I am providing myself with renewed opportunities to form new acquaintances with, as of yet, undiscovered thoughts, ideas, and inspirations. Each book will leave my home with a carefully penned note:
“This book has been an honored inhabitant of my bookshelf for some time. The words within it are linked to many fond memories in my heart. Being a dear friend of mine, I would like to share this treasure with you. I hope that you will create many fond memories with it, as I have. Perhaps one day you will decide to allow it to continue its journey to yet another seeking mind or perhaps you will decide to keep it on your bookshelf. The main thing is that it is read again…and again. I would be delighted to peek into your inner heart one day as well.”
Who knows? Perhaps you will be an honored recipient of one of my books this Christmas.