Gift Books

One of my dear friends has a new gifting policy that makes a great deal of sense to me, and has asked her family to keep it in mind when purchasing gifts for her in the future.

“If I can’t eat it or go to it or experience it, I don’t want it!” she announced emphatically.

I agree – with one possible exception.

Gifts you can read.

Of course there is no better gift for this bookish girl.

Today, two gift books arrived in my mail. Gifts for others, mind you, but books I was keen to read myself.  One was this lovely collection of poetry, She Walks in Beauty, anthologized by Caroline Kennedy. It’s a collection organized around the stages of a woman’s life – love, marriage, family, friendship, aging – and filled with hundreds of poems from poets of every era and nation.  I carefully peeked inside, particularly interested in the impeccably written introductions with which Kennedy prefaces each section.  I particularly loved this quote from her Preface to the book itself:

Women have always been the weavers of the world…We weave people together, we weave the experiences of life into patterns, and we weave our stories into words. Poems distill our emotions into very few words – words that we can remember, carry with us, and share with others as we talk and weave the cloth of life.

The other gift book was actually for my friend who issued the gifting edict (so I hope I’m not banned from her friend list!) However, she and her husband are such avid dog lovers, I think she’ll forgive me.

The book is entitled Dogs Make Us Human, and it’s a pictorial essay about dogs all over the world and the way they enhance the lives of their humans. I plan to spend some more time with this one myself before it gets wrapped.

But first, there’s someone else in my house who seems quite interested in “reading it.”

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7 thoughts on “Gift Books

  1. Awww, love the photo. I agree with you and your friend, books are the one exception. Otherwise food and experiences are it–we don’t need more stuff. But then books are an experience, aren’t they?

  2. Thank you for mentioning that book of poems selected by Caroline Kennedy.She has another book, an older book (2001): The Best-Love poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
    In her introduction she wrote: “My mother was lucky to have a grandfather who loved poetry. When she was alittle girl, she would visit him every Wednesday evening after dancing class, and they would memorize poem together… Now that I have my own children, I understand in a new way that if you love something, your children will want to love it too.”

    • And how lucky you are if your children love the things you do 🙂

      Caroline Kennedy also has put together a beautiful collection of children’s poetry, A Family of Poems. I always buy it for baby gifts, and have one waiting for my grandson when he’s a little older.

  3. “If I can’t eat it or go to it or experience it, I don’t want it!”
    I started telling this to my friends and family a few years ago, but I do consider books an experience. They take us to faraway places, introduce us to new ideas and entertain us for hours on end. Great gift!

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