Everything for Your Home's
Beauty, Comfort & Convenience 384-2123
704 Jamestown St, Columbia
Dr. Ronald P. Rogers
Support for your body's natural healing capabilities
Click here for details
Click here for information
Real Estate & Auction Co.
Duo County Telecom
Now Available Through
Your Cable Service!
GUN & PAWN
What's Going On
Info about the
Janice Holt Giles
and Henry Giles Society
Columbia Gas Dept.
GAS LEAK or GAS SMELL
24 hrs/ 365 days
270-384-2006 or 9-1-1
Call before you dig
Directory of Churches
phone numbers and more
for churches in Adair County
Find Great Stuff in
Antiques, Help Wanted,
Autos, Real Estate,
Legal Notices, More...
Tom Chaney: Books at Christmas
Of Writers and their Books, Books at Christmas is a plea for giving books for Christmas or any occasion. This column first appeared 18 December 2005
The next earlier Tom Chaney column: A Mirror Up to Life
By Tom Chaney
Books at Christmas
When I think of the presents of Christmases past, I mostly remember the books. Oh! There were the other presents such as the Lionel train set that ran on a figure-eight track. It was special. But there were always books. And they were always exciting.
For years a book meant that parents and grandparents would read to me. I loved that. Visualizing the events in a book through the voice of my mother or grandmother, and sometimes my grandfather, was a better picture than we would ever see on television. One year someone gave Grandfather a set of McGuffey's Readers. I can yet recall his voice reading us stories from those books from his youth.
And as I began to read for myself, I remember with what anticipation I unwrapped the latest Hardy Boys mystery. A friend and I always were given Hardy Boys for Christmas. We read them quickly; then swapped. I suspect our mothers checked with each other so as to alert Santa Claus not to duplicate Hardy Boys on Yancey Avenue. Some years ago I found an old box from the 1940's. Sure enough, there was a Hardy Boys book with my friend's name on the fly leaf.
One year an aunt who lived far away sent me a copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Inside the front cover was the injunction, "To be read only by candlelight on a stormy night." As fine as they have been, no production at Kentucky Repertory Theatre comes close to matching the horrors of the pictures in my mind from reading that book.
Remembering the pleasure I got from such Christmas books, I began to buy books for my nieces from their earliest Christmases. My philosophy was that, while they might not appreciate a particular title at the time, perhaps one of them might pick up one of those books later and enjoy it. I learned this was so, just recently.
All of this brings me to suggest some Christmas gift ideas in the realm of books. Over the past month, I have written here about new Kentucky books that can give extended pleasure. I think mostly of Wade Hall's The Kentucky Anthology or Klass' Mammoth Cave National Park: Reflections.
Why must the books be new? A signed edition of a recent or older book makes a fine gift.
Modern first editions of recent novels, whether mystery, romance, science fiction are available for pennies on the dollar of their new prices.
History, biography, science, how-to, hobbies do not necessarily go out of date with age.
The pleasure of a book is not terribly diminished by the fact that it has been read before. Your local used book dealer, whomever he may be, offers gently read books -- hard cover or paperback -- to please most tastes.
Children's books, like their clothes, are more often outgrown than outworn. Consider doubling the delight of receiving a gift of two used books at a fraction of the price of one new one.
If you know the reader is finicky about the kind of book, think of a gift certificate. Introduce family and friends, young and old alike, to the joy of browsing.
Some of the greatest reading pleasure comes from serendipity or lagniappe -- two words that describe the process of finding something of value whilst searching for something else.
The joy of surprise awaits the browser, whether one haunts the aisles of a Borders or a Barnes and Noble or pokes amongst the dusty, disorganized shelves of the used book monger.
Open up new worlds. Revisit old byways. Consider books for gifts this time.
Tom Chaney can be found telling stories, planning his next meal, and occasionally selling books at
Box 73 / 111 Water Street
Horse Cave, Kentucky 42749
Email: Tom Chaney
This story was posted on 2012-12-15 06:09:50
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.
To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.
More articles from topic Tom Chaney: Of Writers and Their Books:
Tom Chaney: A Mirror Up to Life
Tom Chaney: Images of Mammoth Cave
Tom Chaney: Hard Pressed: Typos and Weather
Tom Chaney: Ghost Writers in the Sky
Tom Chaney: Around the Track Once More
Tom Chaney: Our Land is Honored
Tom Chaney: An Island in the Stream
Tom Chaney: Beware of Falling Angels
Tom Chaney: Playing for Pizza
Tom Chaney: Rights of Women
View even more articles in topic Tom Chaney: Of Writers and Their Books
Bank of Columbia
If You're Thinking of Selling,
Let Us Do the Yelling
Principal Broker & Auctioneer
Burton Real Estate
& Auction Service
Call Us For Appraisals
Click for Listings
On This Site
or Click Here
The Best of
Local Stories of
The Greatest Generation
Order Book or e-Book
See who's celebrating
Birthdays and Anniversaries
Special Events List
ColumbiaMagazine.com content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.