December is the most exciting time to give books, which makes it the most exciting time in the world of publishing. All you have to do is Google “best books of 2014,” and you will get results from The New York Times Best Illustrated Books and the Man Booker Prize to the smallest, one-room library in rural Iowa. There are so many great ideas, especially when you add the key words, “childrens” or “young adult” to the search.
However, what I enjoy most about December is the time the short days and longer nights allow for contemplation about the act of reading itself. For me, reading is about sharing human narratives that transcend culture, time and space. As C.S. Lewis put it so well, “In reading great literature, I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. . . . I see with a myriad of eyes, but it is still I who see.” Reading connects human beings because it makes human beings more sure of who they are. That connectedness, where the transcendent meets the ordinary, is the word shining light in the darkness.
This holiday, my wish is that your family will take some time to read and to talk to each other about why you read, what you read, when or where. Connect with each other through old family narratives, traditions, and festivities. Celebrate! Take note, there may be a story-teller in your midst.