Are you a book-as-gift giver? Do others regularly gift books to you? If you answered "no" to both those questions, skip today's reflection.
It will surprise no regular reader to learn that if I'm stuck for a gift idea, books are my default choice and friends and family often do the same for me. On my return home Saturday - having finished the books I took with me on vacation - one of the first orders of business was deciding what was next in the reading queue. Glancing at the books recently gifted to me, I immediately flashed to the ones I'd given. Don't judge, OK? A scorecard formed in my addled brain.
What - you reasonably ask - was I tallying? It was not how many I'd given vs. received; I'm flawed but not mercenary. What I spent way too much time mulling over was how my book choices for others compared with what others had chosen for me. That is, over the coming years, how many books I've gifted will remain unread or re-gifted without ever being opened? And, vice-versa, of course. Don't feel obligated to toss any Hallmark sentiments, Buddhist bromides, or clichés my way. I suspect I don't have a lot of company on the bell curve on this one. But if you've ever gone down this dead end, it would be comforting to know.