All this past week, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer has been reporting on Made In America, a patriotic movement to encourage Americans to spend their Holiday dollars on products made in America. From renewing our infatuation with the Slinky, to rewrapping our fingers around a Louisville Slugger, all in an effort to inspire American jobs for American workers.
ABC World News website states: “The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn't even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs. Now we want to know, are you in? If so, we want to hear from you. How are you planning on spending your $64?”
Well, here’s a thought: “Books” by American writers, published in America, are 100% American made. From the authors themselves, to the house that publishes them, to the printers, to the distributors, to the book retailers, paid reviewers, and even those who report on books, owe their job, all or in part, to the BOOK. American paper suppliers and lumberjacks also benefit when the book is released in print. UPS Drivers, Mail Carriers--they all get a piece of the action.
When a book winds up gift wrapped beneath the tree, it comes with America’s finger prints (figuratively, if not literally) all over it.
This, of course, is the economic view point. But consider what the gift of a book does for the recipient. It offers knowledge, entertainment, inspires imagination, and sometimes provides hope. Hope! How much closer to the spirit of the holidays can one gift be?
I often give books as presents. It’s one of my favorite things to give. But this year, I’m making a special effort to offer the gift of books to everyone I can. So, yes, count me in! A book is a wonderful, sometimes wondrous, thing.
What about you? Will you be giving books for the holidays? (Some bindery worker in Poughkeepsie may well be counting on it.)
Darrell James is an American author. His novel, Nazareth Child, was recently released by Midnight Ink, Llewellyn Worldwide, an American publisher. It is available from American bookstores and through American online retailers. “Come on America! Buy a book!”
Have I said enough?
To see the whole story and watch the video go to ABC World News with Diane Sawyer.