You know that books are an easy cop-out for Chrissie prezzers, don’t you. You know that Aunty Mavis probably won’t read that copy of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North you bought because you were in a rush in Dymocks and really want it for yourself because you can’t believe you still haven’t read it. You know Uncle Ted will look admiringly at that copy of Barrie Cassidy’s Private Bill you bought him that will go straight to the book shelf in the pool room where nothing is ever read because Ted refuses to get a new prescription for his specs.
But here are three good reasons to do it anyway.
1. You love Aunty Mave and Uncle T and really want them to read those books as much as you want to read them yourself. And there’s always hope. Aunty Mave might have that one sherry too many on Boxing Day afternoon, retire to the verandah with the book and fall in love. Uncle T might, while thusly neglected by Mave, fall a little in love with Mrs Overthebackfence and thereby be prompted to make that appointment at the optometrist in the new year all the better to see her, and in doing so reopen the world of reading he forgot had meant so much to him, thereby falling in love with his darling Mave all over again as they take up reading in bed together. The possibilities are endless and, if enough books are bought across the globe, will eventually and inevitably result in world peace.
2. You will be putting vital cash into the book publishing money-go-round to make more books, hopefully by all of the authors you love too, which will also eventually and inevitably result in world peace.
3. Some random person – maybe a cousin you don’t like or the plumber or a Mormon or some weird kid off the street – will pass by the book shelf of Aunty Mave and Uncle T and see those books of love you put there and pick them up, and love them as you do. Again – world peace.
So, do your bit for geopolitical stability and buy books for Christmas, yeah?
Here’s what’s on my wish list for holiday world peace reading…
The Thing About Prague by Rachael Weiss
Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh
Time and Again by Ben Elton
One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson
Vagabondage by Beth Spencer
What’s on yours?