When I was little and sat around the tree with my siblings we often prodded and shook our gifts to figure out what we were getting for Christmas. Although our mom sometimes would disguise gifts with a marble tucked into a box or tissue paper layered around books, we were pretty good guessers.
And books were our favorite. We had library cards and often visited both the local library -- a three block walk in our little town -- or the library in our Dad's office (for anything about science or history and the classics) or the school library. But we loved having books of our own. I still have two hardback gifts with my address sticker on the flyleaf. Yertle the Turtle and Little Women may seem like an odd pair of survivors from my youth, but those two titles tell a story of the breadth of our reading enjoyment. While it sometimes took some settling, Mom often read to us as a group, even if the story was too young or too old for some of the family. Reader's Digest Condensed Books were also favorites. And of course Christmas Eve, before we could open gifts, she would read us the Christmas story.
Mom still reads with great expression when the great-grandchildren curl up with her for a book. Books have always been an important part of our family life.
But now my parents are in their 80s and downsizing their libraries. With the advent of electronic media, the encyclopedias hold little interest for the kids, grandkids or great-grandkids. The multiple collections of Time-Life books that we referenced for science and history papers will probably be passed on outside the family. Even the classics are easier to manage on an eReader -- and even my Mom is reading her books electronically these days.
I have great nostalgia for the books of my childhood. At the same time, I do love have a dozen books with me to read on a trip without having to lug them in a separate suitcase. So gift cards to download more books are among my favorite gifts this Christmas.
For vintage photos of my family reading go to: http://www.lynetteendicott.com/?p=57.
Watch the video for Lynette's latest book The Return of Joy.
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About the Author: When a high school writing assignment resulted in publication of an article in a youth magazine, at age 14, Lynette Endicott was hooked. Writing has always been part of her life; journaling, grants for work, or newsletters for non-profits where she worked have kept that alive.
She has been part of the Disability Rights movement since 1979, and continues to consult with organizations that serve people with disabilities.
Lynette grew up in Illinois, met her husband in Western Nebraska (they've been married since 1974), lived 25 years in Kansas where their daughter was born, and has been in Fresno, California since 2000. She has a son-in-law (who lives with her daughter nearby), and with the kids has rescued two dogs, three cats and a bird. She and Ollie, her terrier mix, volunteer as a team at the local library, where children read to the dog. Reading dogs are featured in her latest book, The Return of Joy.
All books and trailers are posted on her Amazon Author Page, http://www.amazon.com/Lynette-Endicott/e/B008E8P1AO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
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