Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Gift for Reading

The greatest gift I would like to give a person is a book.

This is not surprising given how much I love books and I love reading them. As of my last estimate, I've got more than 4,000 books unread on my shelves and they keep growing as I trawl through bookstores every chance I get. Unfortunately, due to time and work, my reading speed has not only gotten slower, I sometimes don't even have a chance to read. But that doesn't stop me from crowing over the latest book that's come out or a chance to find an out-of-print book.

During Christmas I would give my family books even though I know they're not as hardcore as I am about reading. I enjoy trying to guess what type or title of book would interest them currently. And kids... ah, I envy kids as give them classics like the collected works of The Brothers Grimm, fairy tales, and Hans Andersen.

But it's friends and loved ones (and even acquaintances) I find the challenge of finding the right book. Obviously, I'm biased in giving gifts towards people who read. No point in trying to dig a well in a wasteland. But knowing that a particular person reads, I consider various factors in deciding what type of books this person would enjoy like age, likes, personality, etc.

I don't limit myself to genre or to speculative fiction itself. If I could give that person a non-fiction book, go for it. Or this person doesn't really go for fantasy/science-fiction, that's quite all right (though if I can slip one past, why not?).

For example, one person I know loves reading Dragonlance books and had read the later works of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. As such, it was quite a treat to show them where the authors had first cut their teeth in creating their stories, i.e. the Chronicles and Legends trilogies. Meanwhile, another friend was into literary books but was willing to try speculative fiction. My answer, of course, was Kelly Link. A third one dug indie comics so it was a treasure to find books on classic comic book characters like Krazy Kat.

Truth be told, it doesn't matter whether one is just starting to read or is reading YA books, comic books, literary or just starting out with fantasy. If I can get them to see that there are more things to heaven and earth than are dreamt of in their reading capacity, then why not?

So have you given the joy of reading to another person?


tessa said...

more than 4000?! i wish i could live in your shelf.

banzai cat said...

i wish i had better bookshelves so that i could display them properly. :-)