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A Holiday Challenge

Photo: Literary Hub

Unless you’re like my mom, who always had her Christmas shopping finished by mid-October, you’re probably in the middle of your holiday gift buying right now. If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re probably a reader and wish that some of the people in your life would become readers, or would at least read something in 2024.

But what book do you give to a person who doesn’t like reading?


First, what do they like? Cars? Travel? Money? Collecting ceramic kangaroos? There’s probably a book out there for every subject. (Okay, maybe not one on ceramic kangaroos, but this one is at least in the ballpark.) You know the people in your life and what they love. If you don’t know what book to choose and need help, walk into your public library and ask a librarian. (We love this kind of thing.)

I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve encountered during my 15 years at the library who’ve all said the same thing: “I can’t get my husband/wife/son/daughter/niece/nephew/grandchildren interested in reading.” We hear it often and we do our best to help them. And the next time we see them we ask, “How did they like the book?”

I’ve seen reading transform lives. I want to see it transform more lives. In my book Men Don’t Read I wrote about the joys (and comedic moments) of running a book club for guys at the Severna Park Library, but I also talk about the importance of reading and why each year boys lag farther and farther behind girls in reading. (This is not necessarily a push for you to buy my book, but I won’t argue if you want to pick up a copy!)

I challenge you this holiday season to give at least one person a book, a person whom you normally wouldn’t even think about gifting a book. Put some thought into it, but don’t overthink it. Have fun with it. It can be a goofy book of humor. It can be a graphic novel. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare or Dickens (but it could be either).

Again, have fun with it. Let me know how it turns out.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

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