Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Step right up

A book is a gift you can open again and again. ~~Garrison Keillor

I went to one child's holiday program yesterday.  I was happy to hear the principal  tell the audience that the gift of books is a great thing.  I couldn't agree more.  She said that if you need suggestions you can ask your child's teacher.  But, you can find more resources than just your child's teacher!  Librarians are a great source of help.  At least we try to be!  Ask someone who works in a bookstore.  Chances are if these people can't think of any books off the top of their heads, they'll know where to look to find what you're looking for.

If you have a child who hasn't discovered the joy of reading, they may not have found the right book yet.  Maybe they aren't great readers.  Either way, it's a fun thing to start reading together.  It's amazing how much people enjoy listening to a story.   Don't worry about if the book is going to challenge your child, if the book is an AR book, if your child is going to learn anything from it, or if it's considered a "good" book by some higher power.  What you're looking for in a gift book is one the gift recipient will not hate. Granted, if you are shopping for a book hater, that might be a pretty tall order.  But, there is more than just one kind of book out there.  Take a look at Manga or Graphic Novels, audio books, activity books, how-to books, an almanac, a book of world records, a comic bookIf there are words in there somewhere, it's a book that they'll have to read.  If there aren't any words in the book, they'll have to make up their own story.  If it's an audio book, there is only the joy of the story.

I had to go to the bookstore yesterday to find a few books.  (I know I talked about this a week or two ago,) I had no idea what to get for a couple of my children.  They read a lot.  I don't always know what they read.  I have some idea of the types of books they like.  I also have some idea of the books I like.  So, when I'd come to a likely candidate, I'd take a little time and read the first few paragraphs.  It took a little while to find a couple that I thought they might like, but here's hoping that I got it.  If not, the bookstore is local and they're pretty good about making exchanges.
If your wallet is not in favor of you spending even more money on something that you aren't sure your child will enjoy, I can recommend the for sale pile at your local library.  Many libraries have them.  I know the Coleraine Public Library has books for sale in their basement.  I was there this morning, and picked out a few.  I know the rest of my family is each getting at least one book, so I made sure that I'll have a new book to crack open as well.  Maybe it isn't exactly new, but it is new to me!     

Books are a great thing to get children for Christmas.  They have many days of Christmas break to get through and it wouldn't be too good for their brains to do nothing besides look at a screen.  (Or a bunch of screens as the case may be.)  At some point in time they will get on a parent's nerves and then the parent can say, "Go outside or go read your book."  Maybe they'll choose to do both.  Maybe you'll get to sit with them while they drink their hot cocoa and read a chapter or two of whatever book they got for the holidays.  See?  They're a bit worn out from being outside, and now they might quiet down a little while you're reading.  Win, win.  Mom got some quiet time, and now she's unwittingly fueling their little brains.  Even more of a win, you all get to enjoy some quality time together enjoying a story.  And that is a memory few kids forget.

So, step right up and get a book for your loved one.  It will be money well spent, even if you didn't spend very much.   

Christmas 2009

“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it's much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”
― Neil Gaiman

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