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Blog

Holiday Gifts for Readers

Catherine Ryan Hyde

I don't know if you've noticed this, but I tend to give a lot of stuff away for free. I think it's because I have so many lovely, faithful readers who I feel deserve the gifts.

This hit me rather suddenly this morning:

If you've followed my blog for a long time, you'll know that a little over two years ago, I closed out a storage space and brought the many, many cartons of books home to my garage. At first, they barely fit. So I started giving some away. I wrote a blog post asking readers to send me a self-addressed, stamped mail bag. And I sent them books. 

Now it's about to be the holidays. The books fit in my garage (barely). But there are still plenty. Stacks upon stacks of boxes. I don't travel and speak the way I used to, and I don't intend to die of old age with books in my garage. So...

Do you have readers on your Christmas list? Want to give them some signed first-edition hardcovers? And, you know what? If you don't have these books yourself, it's fine with me if you want them as a present for you. And both is fine, too, provided you don't mind covering the postage.

Here's what I have to spare: Funerals for Horses, Earthquake Weather and Other Stories, Electric God, Walter's Purple Heart and Love in the Present Tense. Requests for multiple books are fine.

Here's how to take me up on it:

Send me a self-addressed, padded mailbag. It will need to have enough postage to cover the books plus the bag itself from my zip code to yours. Some of the books are just over a pound, some just under, so figure it at one pound per book, and if you're a few cents off I'll take up your slack. (If you prefer, you can email me a list of the books you want, and I'll give you an exact weight.) You might want to put your own address as both the “to” and “from” on the mailbag, because if we make a postage mistake, it’ll come back to you instead of me. Tell me what books you want, and if you want them inscribed to someone. Send it to me at P.O. Box 552, Cambria, CA 93428.

That's it. No catch, no fine print. Just the spirit of the holidays, which I think...if I'm remembering correctly...is no-strings-attached giving.

I firmly believe that the purpose of a book is not to sit in a carton in a garage, its cover never cracked open. Books are meant to be read. So let's get them out there to be read for the holidays.