A favorite picture storybook of my childhood, read over
and over, was about a man in a blue suit who had lots and lots of
pockets. Its cover background was pink. I don't remember the title,
author, or illustrator. And, I don't know which of my four siblings or
my many nieces and nephews adopted that storybook, or even whether we
wore it out first among ourselves.
So, I'm still looking for it; and I tell customers who
find my store that my search is one of the reasons I am in the used
book business, recycling individual titles onto another family's shelf.
Indeed, much of the literature that goes out my door is
grounded in fond memories among a range of generations. Sometimes I
know that. With online orders, it's often just a hunch.
For each of us, there are memories our shelves can always
accommodate: a favorite family cookbook, an eye-opening college era
paperback, a word-crafted volume of poetry or romance to read more
than once, a music performance or the score of a classic song, a movie
to share with friends or to save for solitude.
When thinking of gifts for friends and family, consider
the gift of nostalgia. Something remembered and found again, which
upon its giving, may evoke the telling of more stories among one another.
Just ask ... the hunt is often as satisfying as the look
of surprise and warmth on the face of your grandparent, parent,
sibling, child, or friend.
Giving, I recall from past decades, is not just about the glitter.
Lucy Wells, Head Hedgehog (smallest brain)