Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

on giving books

Alan Cheuse, for NPR:

Giving a book is not something we ought to do blindly. We give books to people we love because we think they will convey something about ourselves, something about the world as we see it or something about the world as we would like it to be. We only have one life to live, but we have so many lives in literature — giving a book remains an extraordinary gift.

Well put. I also think that with the book-as-gift, we try to convey our understanding of the person we’re giving it to; the gift shows we have imagined the particular connection he or she will form with the book: So and So must read this!

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