I’m a minimalist.
Except when it comes to books.
I’m not positive but I suspect it stems from moving so much in my life. Several times I’ve moved with all my belongings crammed in a car — a rolled-up futon, some clothes, and of course, a ton of books.
A few of those books were ones from my childhood. During all those times of culling my belongings and packing up my car to move cross-country, a few treasured childhood books have always made the cut.
In fact, the only items I have from when I was a child are those books.
That is why when it comes to gift giving time, the first thing I think about for a child is a book.
Books opened up the world to me when I was a child living in a small Northern California town.
Here’s what has made the cut in my life:
A set of mystery books by Wylly Folk St. John.
My oversized “This is Paris” book. Inside, my mother’s friend who went to Paris wrote that she hoped I would visit that city one day. I have.
A Babar book I loved to pieces.
A Fox in Sox book signed by my grandmother.
But my favorite is a child’s thesaurus my fourth grade teacher gave me. Inside, she wrote about how she knew one day I was going to be an author!
I would love to find Mrs. Ward and let her know that my dream came true. If find her, I’m going to let her know that she was one of those remarkable teachers that change a child’s life. But that’s a whole different post.
So, now as an adult, I give kids books as gifts. Maybe my book and its inscription will encourage them to write a book, to move to Paris, or simply to take pleasure in reading.
I don’t know if these gifted books will end up treasured items or land in the January donation box. Heck, I don’t even know if they’ll read them.
But if there is the slightest chance I can pass on a book that will become a treasured belonging in another person’s life, then I’ve done my job.