In this crazy world of fake news and dwindling access to reality, books are more important than ever. As a child I stood outside my local library many times waiting for it to open. I was desperate to trace my fingers across the shelves and find books that would stimulate, educate and inform.
I’m saddened to think that children today have far less opportunity than I did to access such a rich seam of knowledge. Libraries encourage freedom to think, they give you courage to be who you are. Almost a fifth of UK libraries have closed since 2010 – it is a shocking statistic.
Organisations which support reading projects get a big thumbs up from me, which is why I want to draw your attention to the charity Give a book. They promote reading for pleasure and give books where they will make a difference. They work within many settings including prisons and schools across the UK.
From December 3rd – December 10th if you donate to the charity through The Big Christmas Give link here your donation will be match funded!
Poor reading is linked to economic disadvantage and reduced life opportunities. If you truly want to give a gift worth giving please donate what you can.
When I was young I desperately wanted a doll for Christmas. Not just any doll, a special Tiny Tears doll. It’s quite profound to think the doll I was taken with was a doll that cried.
We never had much money, and the doll was expensive. I prayed Santa would make it happen. I didn’t hold out much hope, I had not been the perfect child!
Christmas came, and low and behold, the baby was born – I had obviously behaved better than I gave myself credit for! Alongside my treasured Tiny Tears, I was given books by my grandfather – Ant and Bee, and The Cat in the Hat. I was 5 years old. I named my doll Trudy. I washed her, played with her and read her bedtime stories. I was in Christmas heaven.
My euphoria lasted all of about 3 days. My naughty little sister decided it was time for dolly to have a ‘makeover’. She poked out her eye and gave her a nasty red pen rash! It was time to take dolly to the hospital – the prognosis was not good. After my initial hysteria, I grew accustomed to my unsightly doll, who was now rocking a funky eye patch, and freshly cut hair. I would sit for hours reading books to her. I even took her to the library! Over the years my love of reading increased – my doll playing not so much!
I loved that doll, but I loved reading more. It was the year my love affair with books began.
I couldn’t tell you what happened to Trudy, but the books are safely here with me and always will be.
Giving a book for Christmas is so much more than giving a present. Books have staying power, you don’t discard them for the next best something or other – they are the best. Sometimes you re-read them, sometimes you pass them on. Books hold so much power, sometimes I think we forget just how amazing they can be. They have the power to change our opinions, the power to make us feel, the power to open up new worlds, the power to teach, they can make us laugh and cry… I could go on and on, but you get the idea – books are powerful!
Giving a book is as personal as it gets. You are giving over a piece of yourself and saying ‘this speaks to me, I hope you enjoy it.’
This Christmas I challenge you to think about a book you wished more people knew about, then gift it to a friend. It is the season for giving after all.
If you’ve read a book you wished more people knew about, please pop a comment in the box below and share the love…
At this time of year it is so easy to get caught up in….well, in everything! I become reflective and start to look back at the year as impartially as I can, looking for the good, the bad and the could do better moments. As a writer I am very fortunate to be able to spend time doing what I love. My thoughts turn to those who, for whatever reason are not fortunate, whether through war, deprivation or ill health they do not wish to look back. This year has been tough for so many people. With that in mind I would like to draw your attention to a few charities who are doing some outstanding work.
Give a Book
Give a Book is a UK registered charity. It was set up in 2011 in memory of writer and playwright Simon Gray who loved to read and to share his reading. The organisation facilitate the gift of books to selected charities and other organisations.
How it works: Donations are used to source new books at cost price, then package and post the books to selected charities. Every donation you make buys and distributes a book to someone who – for differing reasons – might need one. Every £5.00 donation Gives a Book.
“All life should be granted an equal opportunity for expression.
Freedom; being our highest ideal is governed by the
parameters of the environment and the liberty of others.”
Book-Cycles main aims are;
The Advancement of Education for the Public Benefit
To improve literacy and the love of learning, Book-Cycle is committed to providing free access to books and information both in Britain and abroad.
The Reforestation of Britain
To take responsibility for the books we read and give something back to our surrounding flora and fauna, Book-Cycle is committed to the planting of trees, the creation of permaculture and the extension of mutually beneficial habitats.
The Dissemination of the Knowledge and Practices of Permaculture
To give fairer access to the principles and practicalities of self-sustainability, Book-Cycle will endeavour to provide free information and examples of such practices in a local context.
“One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others” – Lewis Carroll
Please give generously and have a happy, healthy holiday season.
It is almost a week since the release of my second novel Forbidden Colours. I am happy to report things have not gone too badly. After an initial heart in the mouth moment, the print copies are now all shiny and beautiful!! A friend of mine asked if she could get my books at the library and that got me to thinking… There is absolutely no reason why not but… and this is where the power of 1 comes in… you will need to ask for it. You may in fact need to ask and keep asking, or you may need to make friends with the lovely librarian. I would love for my books to be available in libraries. Not everyone can afford to buy books and not everyone wants to own them, but everyone should have access to read them. In these times of budget cuts and austerity, libraries are a valuable resource worth endorsing. I would like to ask for your help. Next time you are near your local library, go and browse, see what you can find and if you feel able, ask for my book. The power of 1 is a wonderful gift!
This is my first Christmas post of the season. To get us rolling I’d like to introduce my author friend Pamela S Thibodeaux. Welcome Pamela :). Pamela’s new release Keri’s Christmas Wish is a wonderful romantic tale which will leave you wanting more. Here Pamela tell’s us about her journey to writing Kerri’s Christmas Wish. Over to you Pam –
“I am 100% panster so when I sat at the computer with one scene in mind, Keri scrolling through her newsfeed and grumbling “bah humbug” over the ‘Christmas in July’ propaganda, I had absolutely NO idea where the story was going or what would happen.
I was introduced to Energy Medicine a couple of years ago and find the whole concept of healing the body – or actually the body healing itself by correcting energy imbalance–fascinating. Along with EM, I’ve discovered the power of positive thoughts and prayers (see: You can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay). Add to that, my belief in the afterlife and the books & movies affirming those beliefs, and well, this story practically wrote itself. What is so amazing and encouraging for me is that Keri’s Christmas Wish is the first romantic story I’ve written in its entirety since my husband passed away in 2009. Oh, I’ve had things published that were already in the works, but other than a couple NF pieces, it is the only thing written from start to finish. Hopefully this means I’m in a much better place emotionally and other books/novellas/stories are sure to follow”.
For as long as she can remember, Keri Jackson has despised the hype and commercialism around Christmas so much she seldom enjoys the holiday. Will she get her wish and be free of the angst to truly enjoy Christmas this year?
A devout Christian at heart, Jeremy Hinton, a Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Spiritual Mentor and Energy Medicine Practitioner has studied all of the world’s religions and homeopathic healing modalities. But when a rare bacterial infection threatens the life of the woman he loves, will all of his faith and training be for naught?
Thanks Pam, a wonderful tale which is perfect for the Christmas season. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite… Continue reading “Tuesday Spotlight – Keri’s Christmas Wish by Pamela S Thibodeaux”