Wednesday, November 4, 2009

'Tis the Season!

by Tristi Pinkston
That's right - Halloween was a whole half a week ago. Get with the program - it's time to start thinking about Christmas! Forget that it's a month and a half away. Procrastination is for lazy people! At least, that's what merchandisers would have us believe. I can hardly believe how quickly stores make the leap from Halloween to Christmas sales, as if Thanksgiving didn't exist at all.

Yes, I do have a reason for rambling about the seasons, and it's not just that I'm suddenly craving eggnog. I'd like us all to seriously consider giving books this Christmas season. No, they don't all have to be my book, although I certainly wouldn't mind and I'd be flattered and you can purchase it here or here or here. What I'm suggesting is that we each do our part to give the gift of literacy for Christmas.

We live in such a fast-paced world. We are becoming more attuned to movies and Wii and iPods all the time, and our children can program computers better than we can. (Okay, maybe you can program your own computer, but I can't - I'm constantly yanking my ten-year-old out of bed to come install something for me in the middle of the night.) Where children used to spend hours reading, they're now spending hours in front of screens - and even our books are becoming electronic, with Kindle becoming such a major new way to market reading material. I fear that little by little, we're losing the joy of holding those pages in our hands, the feel of turning the pages, and that awesome new-book smell.

I want to make sure that my children know what it's like to regularly crack open a new book, to be the first one to skim its pages (except for browsers at the bookstore) and to feel the joy of ownership of the story. I loved getting books for Christmas and my birthday. (That wasn't a hint to mail me presents, but hey, if you want to, I certainly wouldn't turn them down ... unless they really stunk) I'd like to see a movement back toward the simple things, pen and ink and cardboard brought together to create something that rivals even holiday magic ... the magic of reading. It doesn't go away after the last dry needle falls off the tree.


Rebecca Talley said...

I've already bought books for my kids from our school book fair. I also bought books from my local independent LDS bookstore for gifts and plan to buy more. I love to give books and to remind people to take a break from technology and just enjoy the feel of a book in their hands (especially on a snowy day sitting next to the fire).

Valerie Ipson said...

One reason I love the Christmas break--great time to abandon all schedules and worries, just spend the days curled up with a good book. And naps. Lots and lots of naps.

Cheri Chesley said...

I'm with you. This actually was my plan for Christmas this year--to give books. Ok, so they aren't going to be MY books. Oh well. There's great stuff to read out there and I want to spead the word(s).

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

I thought I'd left a comment on this before, but it must have been eaten by the Comment Monster. So, here is it again.

Love this post. What better gift could there be than to give a book?