Readers may remember that last year, I introduced them to the Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve. I wondered whether adopting this fun tradition would have a positive impact on our society and I still believe it would. Books make excellent gifts and as we know, they can help provide a more complete perspective for those who read them. If we need any more convincing, here are four reasons to give the gift of a book this Christmas.

The Joy of Reading

A classic form of entertainment, reading a new book is a great way to relax and spend some leisure time to oneself. The simple joy of reading is a sometimes rare opportunity to slip away into a new place and leave all one’s troubles behind. For some people, this is the most desireable thing they get out of reading books.

Learning

Regardless of one’s expectations from reading, one thing they’ll get is an opportunity to experience new worlds and perspectives and find themselves pondering situations they may very well find themselves in one day. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow as a human experiencing the world around them. It provides a path to understanding or empathy for others around us, their individual journeys and lives, and grants us knowledge we may have never come across in our daily lives.

Lifetime memories

Art has the capacity to etch a moment of our lives into our minds. For some, a special song they loved in their 20s becomes a powerful trigger for a sense of nostalgia and romanticism. It replays the moments, the feelings, the mood of those days. Books can do the same things—and more. It can remind us of how it guided our future choices and decisions, having been equipped with a broader view of things. They can remind us of how we felt when we learned certain facts or twists in the stories we read. These memories tend to become some of our best, as their attachment to the art provides a more ethereal nostalgia. One that almost feels real again. It is these memories, we hope to hold onto forever.

Gift that lasts forever

Speaking of forever, books last…well…a long time. They can certainly be passed down through generations if taken care of properly. Their weaknesses in today’s world in some ways give them strength in long term. They won’t ever need a special program or gadget to decipher. They don’t need to be charged. They’re incredibly easy to carry with you. They work. On demand. The point is, the book itself—as well as the lessons learned from it, and the memories made—last a lifetime, if not more.

Whether for a bookworm, or a casual reader, buying a book (Or even an e-book) can be a portal to a whole new perspective on life. If you’re looking to get something meaningful for that special someone, consider a classic book. Do you love to give books as gifts? Was the receiver excited? Let me know in the comments below!

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