Last week when I took the gift to their house, he opened the book and immediately found the C (an antler) for his and his dad's name, the B (painted turtle shell) for his little sister's name, and the M (Norway pine bark) for his mom's name. His mom asked me why I always give them a book for holidays. After all, I do not know them other than to wave when we pass on the street. I explained that giving books is one of my missions in life. I love the delight in people's faces as they view the pages or read passages. I love their stories of sharing books with others. My reading life extends beyond the story steps of the school library and into my neighborhood, my favorite independent bookshop, my friendships, and of course, my family. And I'm always rewarded with how books are received and appreciated.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
On this chilly winter afternoon, I headed down the block for a walk with a friend. With my woolly hat covering my ears, I wondered if I'd really heard a tiny voice call out my name. I did! Over a tall snowbank, my three-year-old neighbor boy appeared from the fort he and his dad were digging. I asked this rosy-cheeked boy about his Christmas celebration and what his favorite gift was this year. With no prompting from his dad, he said with a bright smile, "That book from you." That book was a signed copy of Minnesota's Hidden Alphabet with text by David LaRochelle and photographs by Joe Rossi. I told him it made my heart feel warm to know he loved it so much.