Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas miracle

Today, I did my holiday duty and went Christmas shopping for my niece and nephew, age 4 and infant. For a brief moment, I thought of getting clothes or shoes (because kid's clothes are the cutest) but then gave myself a mental slap. I'm a children's book author, I've got to support the biz. If I don't buy children's books for children, how can I expect others? Yes, I'm all about setting an example.

I have to admit it's been a while since I've gone shopping in a real store. I tend to do internet shopping; but since I was getting all high and mighty, I realized I should support an independent bookstore as well. So I went into my favorite children's bookstore and...was completely overwhelmed.

There are just so many books out there, crowding and overcrowding the shelves. I went in determined to buy a gem from a no-name upcoming author, but the sheer chaos was disheartening. Suddenly, from the consumer angle, I realized how intimidating it can be to buy a book. The pressure of choosing something age appropriate, reading-level appropriate, taste appropriate for the child, taste appropriate for the parents...suddenly, those cute baby shoes were looking like a good gift choice.

But just as I began to take a step back, I was given an epiphany as a present. I make a living making these books. How is that possible? It was humbling, and the prior feeling of self-righteous pride became one of intense gratitude. Some lovely, kind, patient people must have taken the time to find my books in this mess of a publishing universe,and that's rather a miracle. And one that deserves to be paid forward as a holiday tradition.


Libby Koponen said...

So what did you end up buying?

Great post, by the way!

Anonymous said...


Exactly what I wondered...

What did you buy? It is all true. The choices can look overwhelming. Nicely observed posting.

(Will you share the name of your independent bookstore as well?)


MotherReader said...

Beautiful words about your place in the world, and I for one, am glad that people are finding your books over and over again.

I'm also curious what you ended up buying. It was some Dora the Explorer book and now you're afraid to admitt it, isn't it?