2011 has passed entirely too quickly, and what a year it’s been! The world has experienced its share of tumult and crises, and for the many, buying holiday gifts will be a stressful experience. Yet it does not have to be so!
Last weekend in Paris, I grumpily agreed to take a bain de foule (literally, a crowd bath) on the Champs-Élysées to help a friend purchase books for everyone in his family. The Grinch in me wanted to lobby for ordering online, but once at the store, I realized that I’d virtually forgotten the joys of languishing the afternoon away in a bookstore.
What a great time we had, talking about the likes, dislikes, and quirks of the people we were shopping for, and sharing stories about our families that would ordinarily have gone untold. We browsed for hours choosing fun but educational books for the kids; history and other nonfiction for the practical males; poetic fare for the romantics; and a good combination of literature and scandale for the ladies. In the process, we shared our own literary tastes and pleasures, which also sparked some lively political and cultural discussion.
The very best part—the price tag for this treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment was incredibly low! Imagine, a whole Christmas list dispatched in one store!
An entire family more literate as a result!! And a brick & mortar bookstore supported! I can’t think of any gift that delivers more for the dollar than a book. Plus the experience was far richer than if we’d ordered online. How dull that would have been compared to the intimate and delectable feast of the mind that one can share in a good bookstore!
Here’s wishing all of you a safe, joyous, and literary holiday season.