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Book Worm: Spread holiday cheer by donating a book

By Kathleen Duncan
Dec. 18, 2013 at 6:18 a.m.


I've always loved Christmas. Not just because of the piles of magical books that are stacked under my tree from loved ones but simply because of the spirit of the holiday.

It's true; we spend a lot of our time throughout the year focused on ourselves - even the best of us. We don't mean to, but life wraps you up and stresses you out, and somehow, it just happens.

Christmas has always been, to me, a time of year when we are focused more on something outside of ourselves. We're striving a little harder toward the happiness and well-being of others, whether that means buying a gift for your father that he'll really like, sending a Christmas card to a relative you haven't caught up with this year or donating a little more money to charity than usual.

It is a time of year, despite all the frills, that is really about goodwill toward others, a time of year when I see everyone being a little more generous and kind. And since this holiday, like any other, is what you make of it, I always try to enjoy every tradition, large and small.

One of my bookish traditions is to encourage people to give away their used books. You know which ones I'm talking about. Those books you pile in the back of your bookshelf or up in the attic that can be dusted off and given away to make someone else happy this Christmas.

One way is sending them through Operation Paperback. Operation Paperback is a nonprofit that helps get books to soldiers in service. A lot of the books requested by soldiers are not new bestsellers fresh off the shelf but just regular paperback books, everything from mysteries to biographies that you probably already have at your home.

As someone who buys (hoards ... stockpiles ... ) books regularly, I end up with plenty of books I'm not emotionally attached to keeping, so into a box and off to the mail they go. Operation Paperback (operationpaperback.org) allows you to send books requested by men and women in service all over the world straight to them.

There are, of course, lots of other opportunities to give back in bookish ways: donating those used books to your local school or library, mentoring a child in reading at a local school or giving your favorite novel to a young person in your family to inspire them to love books and not dread them because they're associated with homework.

In the next few weeks, you may run into me as I skip down to the post office with boxes of books for various destinations, as I hope they make someone's Christmas a little brighter.

If you would like to donate some books but don't know where in your community would need them or if you know of anyone who needs book donations in the Crossroads, let me know. Maybe we can find a way to help each other out a little more than usual.

After all, it is Christmas.

Contact Kathleen Duncan at KDuncan@vicad.com, 361-580-6516, 311 E. Constitution St., Victoria, TX 77901.

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