Friday, November 25, 2022

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year: #BOOKSGIVING!

As holiday celebrations go, few rival Yule (Christmas, Noël, Wiehnacht, Solstice celebrations all) in the economic reach. The reason today, the Friday after US "Thanksgiving", is called "Black Friday" is not just an acknowledgment that retail workers are in a justifiably horrible mood today but because their corporate masters are "in the black" with the sales rung up today. Later additions, like "Cyber Monday" and the like, are also based around the consumers of the country getting their shop on.

Gift-giving is a joy, at least when it's done from a full-hearted and heartful place. I enjoy giving people things whenever I'm able to. I'm far from alone in that. It's a solid chunk of the reason we have a gift-giving holiday in the first place, after all. what's so delightful about the Jólabókaflóð is it's *not* about ritual exchange of stuff, property; it's about the community-reinforcing act of sharing companionship, being together, and reading instead of staring at moving images. You can make the moving images in your brain! Isn't that what a story is when it's in a book? It's words that create images and feelings and evoke the reader's full participation! (Ideally, anyway.)

There are regional variations all over the world now. There are starter kits. There are explainers and, of all things, a Jólabókaflóð Kickstarter!

I've used the hashtag #Booksgiving because, at least to my own eyes, it's easier to scan than the Icelandic version. I do love the idea of the Yule Book Flood, whose origins are in wartime scarcity, but realistically if *I* can't say it, who not fluent in either Icelandic or Old English could?

What I do for the rest of the giving season is tag reviews "#Booksgiving" all over the blog. They're the books I think merit your consideration for giving purposes...books I especially like, I found extraordinarily compelling, or simply know that there's a reason someone would love to open up as their celebratory reading.

At the bottom of this post, you'll see the "#Booksgiving" on it, and the latest reviews tagged with it will show up. All of them, from the six years I've used this custom, will appear...anything I've reviewed...and I heartily recommend them.

May the Jólasveinar, Iceland's thirteen Santas (known in English translation as the Yule Lads), leave you books in your stockings or shoes or other present-receiving receptacles and not an old potato or lump of coal (where would they even find one of those nowadays?).

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