Crunch time – buy a book

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
We are getting down to the wire for Christmas gift giving. We have given hours and hours of hard work, shopped hundreds of pages of advertisements, scrolled through page after page of gift ideas on our phones, tablets, and computers, and still came up dry. What do you buy for someone you love or care about deeply? How about that neighbor that says a cheery hello every time you cross paths? Have you chosen those very important “thank you type” gifts?

Tolerate me for a moment and consider my idea. Buy a book. The receiver will know you care, and they will hopefully realize you invested time and hard earned money choosing one for them that had meaning for you. You will have to think and shop, but your sources are many and varied. Think of your relationship with the recipient. Consider their likes, interests, careers, and hobbies. If they have experienced recent illness or heartache, the field is wide open for good choices.

You might ask if I own an interest in a book store, or if this idea is presented to help local book sales or orders. The answer is no. I am suggesting this gift because the love of books changed my young life, and guess what, that love continued into my adult life and I treasure the role of book lover.

Now, no offense to anyone who loves to read online. All of my children and most of my grandchildren read now on tablets, computers, and phones. Not me! I still want the feel of a book in my hand. I love good, dynamic book covers. I enjoy turning the pages. I like going back and verifying a scene, a fact, or a quote that meant something to me. I may not be able to give you the exact page number, but I can almost always tell you the general location of the passage. I might say, “Upper left side of the page a third of the book in,” or “About mid-way through, middle of right-hand page.”

When I lost my beach house on the Bolivar Peninsula to that horrible storm, Hurricane Ike, I grieved most over my hundreds of lost books. My husband had just a few months prior to Ike built me a 13-foot desk, with a fancy marble top, looking out on the Gulf where I could truly enjoy writing. He also had carefully constructed the bookcases of my dreams. All gone.

My childhood had some issues because of alcoholic parents and my precious uncle realized our lives were not normal in many ways. His mission was to teach my brothers and I to read and to love and value books. He would come to our house on Saturday with an arm full of books, often from the local library. We would review the books we had read from the previous week and he was prepared to give us small rewards. It might be a quarter, an old fashioned half dollar, and as the books got more difficult, an entire dollar bill. He also exposed us to any cultural event in town, live plays, the circus, presentations, and the like.

Every grandchild I have gets at least one book for every event we celebrate. My daughter, DeAnna, my granddaughter, Callie Grace, and my son, Brent, are all avid readers today because of my Uncle Donald.

Gift some books this Christmas and change lives. They’re easy to wrap, too.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at (409) 781-8788 or,
[email protected]

[BCH: Dec-5-2023]

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