Monday, December 13, 2010

What better gift than a book?

This week is all about BOOKS!

Wednesday I'll detail my reading stats for the year (how many books started, how many finished, why I didn't finish some, how many books by and about people of color, how many books which are British vs. American, etc).

Friday I'll reveal my top ten books for the year. I can't wait to share them!

But first, what better gift this time of year than a book?

Unlike electronics, books' production involves no conflict minerals or armed militias.

If you buy your books at a locally owned store, out of every $100, $45 remains in the local economy.

And of course, buying books supports writers and publishers, not high-paid celebrities, sports stars, or rich corporations.

For the past few years I've bought all my Christmas book gifts at Schuler's. I practically grew up in Schuler's fantasy section. I used to walk there from home just so I could sit some place quiet, suck in the smell of so much knowledge and so many beautiful stories, and never be harassed by sales people. When my local shop moved into the mall, I worried a piece of my childhood was dying. Luckily, the store has thrived, as have its other locations in mid-Michigan. But I figure, if it's that important to me, I can support it (and my local community and state) with my money. Plus, they're doing free shipping for the holidays.

Don't have some place local and beautiful to shop? If you live in the US, you can order books online and search for local bookstores with Indie Bound.

Need some ideas?

Author Heidi Ayarbe is recommending a different book for every day of December until Christmas Eve. It's only the 13th, and I've already learned about several lovely books I had never heard of, and re-discovered several books I've been meaning to read.

Need a little something for yourself?

To celebrate books, and her reads for the year, author Medeia Sharif is giving books to three of her lucky blog followers.

Any comic readers? Parents of comic readers? Phil is trying to get rid of several floppy series (including The Unwritten!) from the past three years. If you're interested, please leave a comment with your email address and I'll let you know what he has and send them to you FOR FREE (as long as the post office cooperates and it doesn't get too expensive!).

Have a few extra books you need to get rid of?

Author Anna Staniszewski has an opportunity on her website for people to donate books to a very needy Massachusetts school library. Plus, in exchange for your generosity, you could win a gift card for MORE BOOKS!


  1. I can't wait to read your post on Wednesday. I'm not organized enough to summarize a year's worth of my reading - well done you!


  2. Great post! (Great photo, too!) Three cheers to giving books as presents. The sad thing around here is that so many bookshops are closing. We seem to be left with a Borders in the next town over (which, for some reason, never has what I'm looking for--odd). Looking forward to posts on Wednesday and Friday.

  3. Aw, thanks Andrea and Elisabeth. Glad to know someone enjoys the random stats besides me! =) I've found they're a strangely fascinating insight into what I read and even what I write.

    Elisabeth, I started writing every book I read in a small journal about three years ago. It's not really that organized or time consuming. I sometimes forget to record a book, especially if I read it really fast (or gave up on it really fast!), but I tend to keep my journal out on the dining room table with my writing stuff so I see it often and can't forget. All I record is the date finished, title, author, and an asterisk if I didn't finish it or am re-reading it. Sometimes I'll jot little notes down, usually if I'm angry a book has been bad. =) Earlier this year I also challenged myself to keep track if a main character and/or the author was a person of color. It really is fun to have the record, and does help remembering when I read something, which book in a series, etc.

    Sarah Blake Johnson (another Blueboarder), tried to convince me to keep more extensive notes on genre, and writing lessons to be learned, but I just couldn't get in the habit of that--though I'm sure it would be useful.

    Andrea, I definitely hear you about bookstores closing. My indie in Bristol closed the first year I moved here, the Borders here closed last year. It's such a tough market, especially when we can order whatever we want online. However, I was out today picking up Christmas gifts, and treated myself by going into a Waterstones (a British book chain). And it was stuffed with people! So at least one store is being well used this December. =)

  4. Thanks for linking to my post! This really is a good time of year for books, isn't it? The end of the semester is almost here and I'm preparing to gorge myself on books over the winter break. :-)

  5. You're welcome, Anna! I hope that library gets some really great new books! I wish I could send some, but the postage costs would be pretty prohibitive from the UK.

    Enjoy your holiday reading frenzy! I love going back to the US and stocking up on all the American books I can't get over here yet!

  6. Anne, I totally agree with you about giving books as gifts. This weekend, I went to Borders (seems like they need all the help they can get financially) and bought books as my presents.

    I also truly believe in supporting our local libraries as well. I just donated a stack of books to the one up the street from my house. I love it when I see my donated books on the shelf and seeing a teen or a kid picking it up and then checking it out! :)

    Plus, let's face it: I love books for myself too.

  7. Yes, Karen, It's so nice this time of year to pick out books for others, share books we've loved, and get some new ones, too, isn't it? I bet your library is so appreciative.

  8. This year, the presents we've bought have been books, food, and meals for the homeless. It feels so good, we're going to do this again next year too. I couldn't agree more about buying books for presents, and there's one more great thing about books: they're SO easy to wrap!

  9. That's so true, Mary, books involve no awkward-shaped wrapping worries! Your Christmas presents sound so practical, sustainable, and generous. How great that it worked out so well that you're going to do it again next year, too.


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