Books and Christmas just seem to go together around our house.
It seems that nearly every year, my husband gives me a book, and I naturally give him one in return. Now it’s true that some years we’ve browsed and browsed and haven’t found anything the other would like, in which case gift cards were clearly the answer, but there’s nearly always a book under the tree for each of us each year.
My gift to him this year was China Mieville’s Railsea—he’s one of my husband’s favorite writers, and he’s been good enough the past two years to have a newish title out for the holidays—something released within 6 months. This year, like last year, I got a biography: The Fry Chronicles, which is Stephen Fry’s tale of his years at Cambridge, where he met Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson. I dove right in that morning—a complete report will be forthcoming.
Oddly enough, though, we never give our adult daughter books anymore. Part of that is that, as a very busy college student, she doesn’t really have much time to read and currently has a pile of stuff she wants to get through. The other part of it is that she’s just coming into her own tastes as a reader and it’s a bit difficult to know what to get her these days.
Not so when she was little—it was so much easier to choose books for a little girl. Harry Potter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Anne of Green Gables—all the usual suspects. Right now my big book choice issue is selecting reading material for my nephew, who will be 7 in a week or so. Because he lives so far away, I have no idea what he has in his library. And I also don’t know what the average 7 year old boy is reading these days—or what they ever did read. I was never a 7 year old boy. In the past I’ve given him Shel Silverstein and some Elephant and Piggie books and a few other things. But I’m a bit stumped now. His parents are a bit conservative, so things like Captain Underpants are not approved of.
Which means a trip to the bookstore. What a shame…