Thursday, February 17, 2005

Gift of a Book

I love giving and receiving books as gifts. In my opinion, there is nothing better and more personal than a carefully selected book. My Bookman is great at this. It is a skill that comes in handy for a bookstore manager. When his talent is directed at me it makes me weak in the knees. Currently I am glowing over a new book. I got home from a full day's work to a pleasant surprise. "Here are the developed photos I picked up today, take a look at them." I open the envelope to find, not photos, but a book sized object wrapped up in paper. "Wow, those are strange photos they gave us," he says in mock surprise. Uh-huh. I pull off the paper and inside is a newly republished edition of Vita Sackville-West's The Land, a long poem published originally in 1926. The poem was quite famous, selling over 100,000 copies, and it won the Hawthornden Prize. It even made Virginia Woolf a little jealous of her friend. Vita's out of print books are darn near impossible to find and I had resigned myself long ago to never reading The Land. But now I own a brand new copy! This is happiness.