Friday, 2 December 2016

#Blogmas 2016 - Day 1 - Introduction & favourite bookish holiday things

I decided that I'd give #blogmas a try this year. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's a meme/challenge what have you where participants pledge to write a blog post every day in December. From what I can tell from the various other blogmas blog posts I've been researching, the posts are supposed to be holiday related. We'll see how I do with sticking to that theme, my personal goal is just to actually meet the posting every day in December part of the challenge. I've heard it described by a couple of other blogs as an advent calendar of blog posts and I think that's actually a really fun description. Speaking of which, that gives me an idea for what to talk about today!

My favourite bookish holiday things

1. Book advent calendars

I first read about these on Book Riot a few weeks back. Angie said that the first Christmas she and I spend together we will have one. What you do is, instead of chocolates you get 25 Christmas/Holiday themed books and you wrap them up like presents. It's supposed to be done with children's books for kids, but I would personally be inclined to do it with novels and I would totally not stick with them all being holiday related. You number them 1 to 25 and then you unwrap one every day. When Angie and I do it I think we should have 2 one for her and 1 for me so I can pick all the books for her and she can pick all of mine.

Check out this awesome fabric covered example on JollyMom's blog

2. Book trees

I think that book trees should probably be pretty self explanatory? It's a Christmas tree built out of books, preferably ones with green spines. They seem to be most commonly found in academic libraries, which makes sense because if my library is anything to go by all academic libraries must have an overabundance of green spined monographs at their disposal. I've heard on the ALA Think Tank Facebook group that library pros getting sent book tree photos in December is a very prevalent trend.

Last year I joked with my library's admin assistant who is responsible for putting up our tree that we should totally do a book tree.  I don't think any of us want to go to that effort though - and besides what if one of our users needed one of the books? I don't think we have enough spare ones floating around to make a book tree. But I love the concept all the same!

If I didn't think my dog Ria would eat the books (because she's done it before), I would totally use my own books to do this at home. Since we don't actually put up a traditional Christmas tree I think this would be a super fun alternative. But I do enjoy all of my books being intact, so it's just a pipe dream! Plus this would actually be really hard to put any gifts under so you would need a lot of bare floor space around the tree for doing that.

3. Giving books as gifts

My favourite gift to give people at Christmas is a book. Wherever possible I try and do that, especially with my younger cousins because I would love for them to love books and reading even half as much as I do! It's fun for me to try and pick something that I think they'll enjoy.

I don't always succeed, like the year I bought my tweenage cousin Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles in the hopes of showing her that not all Princesses had to be of the Disney variety. She ended up not liking the books, but at least she gave them a try! (Don't get me wrong, I do love Disney princesses of course, I just think little girls should know that there are other ways of being a Princess) Maybe when she's a little older I'll try her with Jason Porath's Rejected Princesses: Tales of History's Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics which I shamelessly bought for myself earlier this year under the guise of seeing if it would be suitable for her now (it's not). So this year she's going to be getting the young reader's edition of Misty Copeland's autobiography because she's big into dancing and so I think she'd enjoy it and be inspired by it! Or at least that's what I'm hoping!

There are other times that I do really succeed though. Like when I got the above mentioned cousin's older brother the first 6 books in the Young Jedi Knights series. He's a HUGE Star Wars fan, so I knew those books would be a sure bet. My only regret is I can't seem to find the last 6 volumes to finish the set for him! Then there was last year when I got my two youngest cousins some really neat sets that their parents loved. I paired an educational game and toy with a book or books related to the toy. The older little boy got a cookie counting game and a picture book about cookies and cows. His baby sister got her first tea set (a megablocks one) and 4 picture books and board books about tea parties.

4. Iceland's Jólabókaflóð

So I don't know if you know this. I was SO excited when I first heard about it that Iceland jumped to the top of my wish list of places to go to. It turns out that Iceland has an entire holiday tradition related to books! It's called Jólabókaflóð which translates to Christmas Book Flood and it's all about giving each other books at Christmas. I just told you that books are one of my favourite gifts to give, they're also one of my favourite gifts to receive. My family has pretty much stopped buying me books and instead buys me Chapters gift cards so I can buy myself the books I want. They did that because they can't keep up with what books I already own. Here are a couple of links to great posts about it: The beautiful Icelandic tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve & The Icelandic Christmas Book Flood (Jólabókaflóð) Is The Antidote To Black Friday.

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