There was a large carton on my porch yesterday noon,  which was much too big for books (unless there were lots and lots of them!) and so I was quite curious to see what was inside.  I dutifully brought in my grocery sacks (but didn’t unpack them – after all I’m not that good!) and went round to the front porch to claim my package.  My excitement mounted when I caught sight of the return address label…Levenger’s

 I’ve never ordered anything from Levenger’s although there is much to be coveted in their catalog, which I peruse longingly every time it comes in my mailbox.  Someone, however, had ordered something for me, because there was my name clear as day on the label.

I slid a sharp knife underneath the packing tape and opened the flaps on the carton.  The lovely, rich smell of real wood came drifting out…oh, could this be what I think?

It was.

A lap desk.

Immediately, I knew my dear husband had ordered this for me…he’s been worrying over my habit of sitting curled up in the chair, my tiny notebook computer balanced precariously between the chair arm and bended knees.  I lifted the lovely carved wooden platform from it’s styrofoam nest and caressed it’s soft leather cushioned bottom.  Grabbing up my computer, I plopped down, noticing there was plenty of room to manuever the mouse. 


As much as I love the fact of my new lap desk, which hearkens back to those days of the portable writing desk, the kind the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen used to such advanage, it’s most special quality is in the giver.   Sometimes, just when I think my husband takes no notice of me or my interests, he’ll pull a trick like this which demostrates that I’m very wrong ideed.

Once, years ago when I was a college student, he gave me the newly published Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath.  I was quite Plath-obsessed at that time, but the only way he would have known that was to notice the pile of books and clippings I kept related to her.  I never discussed poetry with my husband in those days…goodness, he was too busy working all hours, and I was too busy going to school, keeping house, and raising a boy.  Nevertheless, he took notice, and that book remains one of the most cherished on my shelves for just that reason.

Once again, he has surprised me with his quiet regard for me and my interests and obsessions. Each time I settle into my chair with my lap desk tucked neatly against my waist, I offer a silent nod to the gods of love, who gifted me with such a rare specimen for my own.

Now tell me, what’s the most thoughtful bookish gift you’ve every received? And from whom?


11 thoughts on “Gifted

  1. That’s lovely! What a sweetie you have!

    When I first started writing, my husband once got me a collection of books about writing poetry. I still cherish them.

  2. You are very blessed to have such silent attention paid to you. Just when we think they have no clue what it is that makes us tick, they go and wind us up!
    My Mr. Wonderful bought me a laptop so I could do my writing. I think it was a two-fold reason as there were many pieces of legal paper scattered around the house. He once asked if we should just wallpaper our home with it so I could write in any room I pleased. Funny guy:)

  3. After looking at your beautiful gift I went and hinted my desire to copy you to my husband and I think that Santa may just be working overtime to get me one. I am now counting the days!

  4. Oh! Oh! I really want one of those! I must show this picture to my husband too.

    I think my best book gift of late was the copy of Julian Barnes’s latest book that he had personally inscribed to me. My academic publisher managed that minor miracle and sent it to me, which makes me think I really must send him a completed manuscript sometime in the not too distant future…..

  5. I hope this is the first of several things from Levenger’s that come your way. I have a couple of the Majorca brief bags (different colors), and some smaller leather items including the accordian pleat wallet that I LOVE. I’m sorry to see that the wallet now seems to come with some contrasting leather trim as opposed to the solid color I have. I wish now I’d bought a second one to keep for later. I’m sure as you saw with your gift, the items come beautifully boxed and wrapped, also.

  6. Wow what a great gift! And very sweet that your husband got that for you.

    I seriously need one with how much time I spend on my computer!

    I think my best bookish gift was the gift of books when I was younger. My uncle used to get me science fiction books that anyone else would have thought would be quite above my reading level. Instead, it gave me a life-long love of sci fi and a fearlessness when it comes to picking up challenging reads.

  7. I had a very similar experience last year for my birthday, when Dear Husband designed bookmarks for my blog! They’re beautiful – red on the front with the title and url of the blog and the back is of my reading girl. I had no idea he even knew I needed/wanted them and now I pass them out all the time.

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