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There is nothing better than a new book, a real book with a cover and real pages. Don’t get me wrong, a kindle, or iPad, or any of those types of devices are convenient and sometimes fun to use. But no matter how far technology advances, it has a long way before it can successfully give me the same pleasure that an actual book can.

And you know what I like even more? Old books. Oh my. Old books have a feel, a quality, even a smell that new books don’t have. The pages are different, even brittle with age and wear. One look at an old book, you can see the joy it’s brought someone for a long time.

Two of my most favorite possessions are books. Both were given to my by my grandmother. I’m not quite sure she understood the gravity of the act, but they’ve made an impact on me.

The first one is called “One Thousand Beautiful Things”, and it was published in 1947. It’s a compilation of short stories, poems, plays, passages, excerpts, and quotations. Some of my favorite poems and short stories were found among its pages. I remember long summer days in my too warm childhood home, leafing through it’s thinking musty pages, making note of my favorite things.

The other book, a well known story by Lewis Carroll “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The original story of Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865. My vey old, very brittle copy has no cover. The first page was an originally blank end page. On this blank page is “From AuntY C to Lois Parker Given Dec. 25, 1907.” This makes it not only the oldest possession I have ever owned, but older to than the grandmother who gave it too me. The fact that it’s survived this long amazes me, so I am determined to take good care of it.

Giving the gift of a good book is thoughtful. But if you love books as much as I, the gift of a good (better yet a good AND old) book is priceless.

My most recent gift was from my mother. It’s called “Once Upon A Time: The Fairy Stories of Arthur Rackham”. It’s an illustrated compilation of several stories, including classic fairy tales, a Peter Pan story and several Aesop’s Fables. It’s going to be the perfect bed time story book for when I have children, and it too is now one of my prized possessions.

What’s your most prized possession? Is it a favorite book, a memento, an item from childhood? Why does it mean so much?

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