The gift of a book
What do you give someone who has everything? A book.
What do you give someone who has nothing? A book. A book can give them hope, the power to dream of what life might be.
Give your best friend a book you’ve enjoyed.
Give your local school a book you think will inspire kids, or just make them laugh.
If you want your kids to be intelligent, give them books: reading creates new neural connections in a child’s brain, by stimulating the growth of new neurons as they imagine the world the writer has put on paper. If you want your kids to be more intelligent, give them more books.
A book is a small, transportable, delightful universe you can keep in your pocket, handbag, glove box or desk drawer, and take out to vanish into when the world is not as you would like it to be.
But mostly, a book is shared. Give a new book. Share an old book. (I love the ones with crabby comments in the margins and chocolate stains – or maybe they are bloodstains – on the pages.)
A book lasts longer than a box of chocolates or a bunch of roses. It is calorie free, cholesterol free, guilt free and does not provoke allergic reactions.
But it can also be so powerful that tyrants like Pol Pot felt they had to massacre book readers.
A book can lead you to paradise or rebellion.
A small shabby paperback can cross the world a hundred times, bringing its magic to thousands of readers.
And everyone can read.