Books make great gifts By: Anna Renault As the holiday season arrives, we scurry around to find just the right gift for each person on our list. This year, make it easy on yourself. Give a gift that keeps on giving… buy books. Ok, I hear you saying “keeps on giving” – how is that possible? Let me explain what I mean. Once upon a time, as a child, I enjoyed reading. I was often given a book as a gift for Christmas, even birthdays and whenever I celebrated other special events like my 'First Holy Communion' and my Confirmation (Catholic Church sacraments, milestones). I was always overjoyed to see a book that I could enjoy reading and rereading. These books were also shared with my friends and we would discuss them – their content, the style of writing, the vocabulary and even the individual characters. It was also fun to discuss 'what if' something in the plot had changed. My friends and I often came up with different endings or additional characters that added to the 'what if' scenarios. Now, a half century later, I'm sharing this message with family, friends and even strangers like someone who might be reading this article – give books for Christmas or other holiday gifts. You may be surprised at how those books keep on giving. Way back when, I learned a valuable lesson after receiving books as gifts. It was a lesson about book writing, dreaming up plots, changing the plot, naming characters and so much more – lessons that have come in very handy as I write books for readers of all ages. Who knew those early days of reading would be so helpful now. Another great benefit of receiving that book/gift is the information you learn from it. You can virtually travel the world between the covers of books. I can remember doing an end-of-year school project, researching Greece after having read a book that told about Greek shipping as well as their grape vineyards and the importance of both on their economy. You might be surprised to learn it was a book of romance! However, the project was submitted to both my English teacher as well as my math teacher – accomplishing two tasks with one effort and it was guided by much of the info I learned in that Harlequin Romance novel! Now there is also the opportunity to give books about leadership, business operations, and personal growth – lessons that will come back to