A move from one apartment to another made me realize how extensive my book collection got. As I moved my books from a box to the windowsill I looked at each one individually - scanning my eyes over the covers, flipping through the pages of folds, highlights and notes. Each book sparked a memory whether I bought it, found it, or received it.
The best gift to get (and give) is a book with a personal message written inside. There’s something so telling about books as gifts. Just this weekend I was reminded of that delightful feeling when my friend and I went to the Printer’s Row Lit Fest in Chicago. As we fingered through piles of used books he grabbed “Everything is Illuminated.”
“I’m buying you this,” he said, not even asking if I read or owned it. Later as we sat over a pre-5 o’clock pitcher of sangria he opened the book to its front-page and began to write.
“Don’t read it until later,” he said closing the cover and slipping it into my purse. I was all kinds of excited. I played fair and waited until I got home.
“It’s a rainy day in June. We bought this book a few hours ago and when I think about it I can’t help but feel excited about what you’re going to read. I hope you enjoy it; there’s more feeling and innocence and love in these words than you’ll have time to appreciate. Enjoy.”
Yes, I teared up. Why? Because I’m a girl and sometimes girls cry about weird things. But come on … words are the indeed the best gift. Anybody have a similar experience?