Not long ago I used the book “!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal in my training. I heard one young man talk explicitly about how he’d use it with his students. “I need this book tomorrow!” he joked with his group. Opening the book, I wrote an inscription and gifted him with my book (using several exclamation marks for effect).
He was surprised. “Why me?”
There’d been no drawing; no mention of a giveaway.
“Because you need it tomorrow.” I said.
People I know buy coffee for the person behind them in line. A friend with young kids had an anonymous person pick up their dinner tab. Inspired by these unexpected gestures, I began gifting books to random recipients. When I heard a fifth-grade teacher talking about her search for a new read aloud, I knew she needed Wonder by RJ Palacio. The Plot Chickens by Mary Jane and Herm Auch went to a fourth-grade teacher who said her students were struggling to keep their story lines simple and clear. Another colleague was chastised for being too positive (I know, can you imagine?) and I knew he needed Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea. My shelves ebb and flow as I find recipients for “just the right book.”
Garrison Keillor said, “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” I feel like a detective sleuthing for the next opportune time to gift the right book at the right time to the right person–when they most need it and least expect it.