Preserving a species
This time of year, sooner or later most of us are hit with The Glut. Generally itâ€™s when weâ€™re in a mall, with Christmas cheer being forced down our ears while people squabble over bargains, but you know the feeling.
I have one solution: Give a gift that makes you feel good at the same time. A gift that helps preserve an endangered species, and keeps our landscape diverse and rich for the next generation.
Spend some of your last-minute holiday dollars or pounds at an independent bookstore. This is the time of year this poor beleaguered bookseller looks at the till every day and knows that what it holds has to stretch for the rent in March. The time of year when theyâ€™re worked off their feet, but in the back of their minds is the knowledge of long hours in the dead of January.
Buy a book. A silly book, a cook book, a picture book, a novel you enjoyed, a biography of someone you never heard of, a book by a local writer, a book with a great cover or an interesting title or a photo of an author who seems like someone youâ€™d have a nice chat with. If you have kids anywhere in the family, buy them two or three books, and if you have the chance to sit down and read to them, all the better. Or if theyâ€™re old enough to read on their own, thank you, buy two copies and read along with them, a sort of mini reading group. And if you donâ€™t know what theyâ€™d like, any good independent has a kidsâ€™ book specialist who can suggest something for a five year-old or a teenager.
And while youâ€™re at it, consider making it a hardback.