Post written by Carina Spring.
I Love to Read month and Valentines Day have combined serendipitously this year to bring plenty of joy and ideas around here.
In a recent post, I resolved to read more BOOKS at bedtime. Just as I was wondering which books to stack by my bedside, the library at my work announced a free book give away. I wasn’t overly optimistic as I approached the 5 carts and a table of dusty old books, but was I ever glad that I gave them a chance! In fact, I have not been able to walk past that library since without taking another free book!
First of all, the highlights!!
Creative Gifts for Valentines Day!
In those piles of books, I found the best Valentines Day present for my husband. (Never mind that I already gave it to him last Friday, February 6th!)
He loves to cook, and has been patiently collecting a series of cookbooks (“Foods of the World”, from the 1960’s). I found a whole bunch of cookbooks from that series – many of the titles he didn’t even know existed! I put two of them in a gift bag and he was thrilled to get them. He said this present was right up there with the ukelele I bought him several years ago for his birthday. On Feb 14th, I will surprise him with a few more books from the series!
For my son, I found a big book about tropical fish with a cover picture of a Beta that looks just like his fish. He loved the gift, and was enthusiastically reading it at bedtime.
And for me? A happy pile of books is now sitting by my bedside, and I’ve been enjoying them all week!
Why The Best Gifts are Free! (Sometimes)
Surprising family or friends with a free book (or some other unique find) is a great way to connect with them. Why?
1) It shows that you thought about that person as you were carrying about your day, wherever you might have been.
2) It shows that you care enough to notice and remember what interests him or her.
3) As a parent, I am subtly sharing my values with my son: frugality, a love for knowledge and reading, and environmentalism (reuse). As a wife, I am supporting my husband in doing the cooking he loves. 😉
4) It’s fun AND it’s free! If they don’t like it, just donate it right away!
The one thing that made me nervous, as I carried armfuls of books into my car, was my aversion to needless clutter. (Though I love the nice kind of “clutter” that is visually appealing and shares a story and history.) As I have mentioned in other posts, I am careful about what I bring into my house. I don’t care about the price. Free clutter is almost as annoying as the expensive kind. Here, I will quickly share how I keep these books from becoming an organizational “problem”.
1) First of all, I rarely buy books. I use the library instead, so that I can return them. If I LOVE a book, or if it is a very useful reference, then I buy.
2) I pass books along once I have read them. From this pile of free books, I will only keep the ones that are special. The rest, I will donate or give to a friend.
3) I keep sturdy bookcases in the areas of the house where we like to read. For example, I love to read in bed, so I have a small stack of books that I keep on my night table or in a little stack on the floor beside me. Inside the closet near my bed, I have a short bookshelf where I keep a bedside collection of books or magazines that I plan to read at some point. Every now and then, I reconsider what I am keeping and donate what is no longer of interest.
4) I keep books in my studio, too. I like a bit of meaningful clutter in that space. It feeds my creativity.
What are you reading these days? (You may find this hard to believe, based on my posts, but I do enjoy new books, too!) I’d love to hear some suggesions!
Take care, and I can’t wait to share my next post with you!
Photo by Apolonia, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net