Slice of Life: The Gift of Books


“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Garrison Keillor

This morning on her blog extraordinaire, A Fuse 8 Production, Betsy Bird announced a contest. The prize? “A hand-wrapped parcel from Sophie Blackall,” illustrator of Matthew Olshan’s just published The Mighty Lalouche (Schwartz & Wade, 2013). Take one look at the  photos on the post and you’ll understand that this will be a treasure. It made me want to wrap up a package and send it to someone! The rules for entering this contest? Just post a comment on Betsy’s blog telling her about the best present you ever received in the mail.

I’ve wracked my brain about this all day. I honestly don’t remember getting that many presents in the mail. I grew up in the same town where my grandparents and mother grew up, and my father grew up in the town next door. We were always together on gift giving occasions.  My mother certainly loved me, but she worked full time, so any care package sent when I was in college was most likely a check. (Which was greatly appreciated!)


So what was the best present I ever got in the mail? A book, of course! I had a great-aunt who lived on Long Island who didn’t always come to Connecticut for Christmas, so she must have mailed our gifts from time to time. She had an uncanny knack for always choosing the perfect book for me. The first book I remember getting was Little Bear when I was 3 or 4. I still have this book, and read it to my children. They loved it just as much as I did. One of the last books she ever gave me was Little Women when I was 12 or 13. I thought I was much too old for such a book. How wrong I was!


In between were other books, many of which I still have. But those are the two that stand out. What is best book you ever got as a present?

Thank you to Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers for hosting this weekly Slice of Life Challenge!

6 thoughts on “Slice of Life: The Gift of Books

  1. Matthew Olshan is doing a guest blog post on TWT next month. I hope you’ll check it out. (And his publisher is giving away a copy of the book too.)

    As for your question… What’s the best book I ever got as a present? Hmmm. I think it was Ellyn Spragins’ book What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self. A friend bought it for me and it was a fantastic read!


    • I’ll be looking for Matt’s post. I haven’t heard of Spragins book, but I’ll check it out. It is amazing what we don’t know when we’re young and think we know everything, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing.


  2. I think that the best book that I ever got as a present was My Great Aunt Arizona because of the note that my friend Anne wrote in it about being teachers together. It’s a great book for a teacher if you ever need an idea!
    I’m impressed at your memory!!!


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