What kind of books do you collect? Is it a combination of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, textbooks, and more? Drill down. What subgenres do you have? Me. I have everything from Shakespeare, Dante, and Ovid to Paulo Coehlo to Iris Johannsen and Kay Hooper. When it comes to poetry, there are just too many to list. I’d wanted to post a poem today from a Ukrainian poet and thought that in my collection of international poets, I might find something.
So, I eagerly opened Jaroslav Seifert. Nope. Czech Poet. Nobel laureate winner, but wrong country. Tomasz Salamun? Nope. Slovenian. I even found a collection entitled 7 Poets, 5 Days, 1 Book. Great, I’m covered! Nope. The poets hailed from Hungary, Malta, Slovenian (yep, Tomasz Salamun again), Russia, Mexico, and two from the United States. Must.One up. Everyone. Sheesh!
I can see that next month, for National Poetry Month, I’ll have to do a piece on Salamun since I have two different books with his poetry, but for now I’ll wax poetic about what I did find. A tiny little book from Hallmark editions gifted first to my paternal grandmother and then, to me 19 years later. It’s title is Gifts of the Heart and goes like this:
'Gold and silver are gifts that are treasured by many... But the gifts of the heart cost not a penny. A smile is a gift you can give every day. A letter's a gift to a friend who's away. Laughter's a gift that holds happiness in it Time is a gift to enjoy every minute. A task is a gift that can even be fun... And praise is a gift for task well done. The world is a gift, For God, in his love Gives us green meadows and blue skies above. Giving's receiving, Receiving is giving! That's really the secret,that lies behind living. So give something each day and you'll find that it's true... All the gifts of the heart will be given to you.'
This book review of my tiny book from childhood will be short and sweet. It’s subtitle is A Little Book About the Treasures of Thoughtfulness, and I copied it down in case it’s no longer in print. It’s one of those keepsake treasures you hand down from generation to generation, and find when you least expect it. It was gifted to one grandmother from another in 1976 and then to me in 1995. It’s now 2022 and through all my moves both near and far, through all my life transitions, through all my travels, it remains with me to be found when I need it on my bookshelf.
Do you have a book like this on your shelf? If so, which book is it? I’d love to know!
And if not, what book would you turn into a keepsake, if you could?