Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Holiday Giving


Tis the season and I am hoping that the publishing industry gets a good chunk of the gift-giving money. Our society has been gluttonous over the years, buying, buying, buying—buying houses we couldn’t really afford, and cars that guzzle gas. And that my friends is how we got into this economic mess. I’m getting close to social security age and I think about how most of my generation raised our kids. We were often first generation college grads and were proud of it. We wanted our kids to grow up with more than we did, to want less, to have more privileges. They had designer jeans (jeans! for heaven’s sake), name brand strollers and backpacks. Their school field trips got more and more expensive. And so we worked harder, stretched ourselves thinner, denied ourselves some things, so we could provide for them like our neighbor provided for their kids. Our kids became the give me-take me-show me-buy me generation because we created them that way. My kids certainly didn’t get everything they wanted, but we made every effort to give them more than we had growing up. But guess what? I think the spending spree is done, both for my generation and for my kids, too. I hear more and more people talk about giving books as gifts. Some families are only giving books this season. My husband and I decided on the same type of gift for all our grandchildren (we have 12 together). The wee ones are getting a book, a cheap tape player, and a tape of grandma and grandpa reading the book. That way we feel we are encouraging them to read, letting them see we value reading, and even though we don't live close, they can spend a few minutes reading with granny and grandpa. I’m hoping that all this buzz about books isn’t just idle talk, and I don’t think it is. I have never heard so much conversation about reading and books as gifts as I have this year. Maybe this is the first inkling that we are going to turn the corner on the economy. I hope so, and I hope it revitalizes the publishing industry. I don’t want a gadget to save the world of publishing. I want it to be that divine feeling of settling on the couch and holding that book, turning it page by page, and becoming immersed in a good story.

5 comments:

Mark Combes said...

I grew up with books and my dad reading to me. In fact just the other day, he read me "Horton Hears a Who" - but I digress....

I'm with you Lynn, I like the feel of a book. But the kids these days might like a e-book or a download to their iPod. I'm not particular in how they ingest their stories - just that they get their daily caloric intake of stories...

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I did my part. My great niece and great nephew got books from me this year. And classics too, like Beatrix Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. I also just gave books for two baby gifts to people at work. Books always fit, never go out of style, and last for years. What bang for your buck!

Keith Raffel said...

All the cousins are getting books for Hanukkah/Xmas.

G.M. Malliet said...

I want the actual book in my hands, and I have the crowded bookshelves to prove it.

But I think the gadgets may be taking over. We won't know for sure for awhile, because Amazon sold out of Kindles early this season, but the download may replace the real books (with gorgeous covers) one day soon. Or the cost of real books will be made prohibitively expensive, a market aimed at rich collectors.

It's the same as what is happening with the newspapers. Who'd have thought the Tribune would go bankrupt? I don't want to read my news online but it looks like I'm in the fading minority on that.

Susan said...

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Susan

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