During difficult times, I have often found relief and light in distraction. Today’s edition of #lwlshelf is intended to do just that. This holiday season, I know you’ll all be offering each other comfort, love and a truck load of wine. Lift each other up! Treat yourself, and treat your friends. Bake cookies together, watch Love Actually and cry (every time!), give each other the gift of your time, your ear, and your friendship. And if you happen to end up in a gift exchange, or want to treat yourself to something nice because you deserve it, I’ve compiled a little list of simple things that will brighten your reading experience!
A gift card to your local bookstore: Now, more than ever, it’s important to support businesses in our neighborhoods. Rather than giving more money to Jeff Bezos and Amazon, consider giving a gift card to your local bookstore, or a local coffee shop where you like to curl up with a good book and a latté. In Portland, we have absolutely wonderful bookstores that hold events, have their own book clubs, and offer so much more than just reading material.
A subscription to a reputable online news source: I really treasure my New York Times subscription. Not only do I get a daily crossword and access to recipes, but I get multi-faceted news that keeps me educated and inspired. Whether it’s The Guardian, the Times, a subscription to a literary magazine like One Story, or something more lighthearted like a cooking magazine, a news subscription is something that will inspire learning and engagement.
A weighted blanket: I got a weighted blanket this year, and am pretty amazed at the relaxation I feel after spending a few minutes on the couch nestled in. I bought mine from Bearaby, but weighted blankets are just about everywhere these days. I’m looking forward to spending quite a bit of time under mine over the coming weeks!
A beautiful bookmark: Typically, I listen to audiobooks or check out digital books from my local library. When I am reading a physical book, however, my bookmark of choice is an old receipt. Not great. I would absolutely love a beautiful, well designed bookmark that I’ll want to hold on to. An easy, inexpensive but very special gift idea.
Your friendship: This year, I’ve been really trying to devote more time to developing my friendships. From starting a book club to meet new women, to scheduling more time with a girlfriend to just get together, have a glass of wine and chat, my friendships have become so much more of a focus, and it’s brought me a lot of joy. If you’ve decided to forego physical gifts this year as I have, the most meaningful gift you can give your friends and family is you. Maybe it’s because of the holiday season that I’m feeling so sentimental, but I can’t think of anything better than spending more time with my friends and loved ones in 2020.
I’ll leave you on the cheesiest note possible, with my favorite Dumbledore quote: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” Wishing you all strength and joy in the week ahead, as well as some happy reading.