So here’s the plan: In the weeks before Christmas, we’re going to put on a big push for reading, writing and interacting as gift-giving ideas. When I was a kid (and I have plenty of pictures of my sisters and I through the years on the same Howard & Barber store’s drunken Santa’s knee) I always asked Santa for the same thing. A doll, books, and games. My mother was able to take advantage of her daughter’s boring predictability to buy on sale long before Christmas. A Madame Alexander doll—one of the most expensive at the time, but she’d buy them cheaper naked and sew beautiful outfits for them herself, one or two games, and bunches of books. From The Little Golden Books right on through Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, she was set for years.

Books are ideal for gifts: Classics, How-tos, Biographies, Mystery, Contemporary, Technical Guides, all of them. We could give away floppies containing Interactive Fiction games, notebooks and pens, “I Love Edgar” buttons, whatever.

I’d like to relight some fires under people who really want to get back to some of the basic pleasures of words.

So look for me in the cafeteria or lobby. I’ll be dressed as the Little Match Girl. All I need are some elves and a believable Santa with a beard that doesn’t pull off…

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