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Sharing is caring

One of NY’s greatest pleasures is that it’s a pretty literary city. With American publishing centered here, on just about any night you can probably find a great literary event going on. Last night I went to a reading and panel featuring new children’s books, and it was a fun event. But I had an ulterior motive:  one of the authors was signing a book I’ve read, loved, and must share with my sister. Not only is it a book about sisterly love, it’s precisely the sort of book she and I used to share back when we still shared a bedroom. In fact, when I first read it, I was reminded of a short story in a horror anthology we were obsessed with when we were younger. My first thought when I read the last sentence of the novel was that I loved it. My second was that Katey would, too.

Even though we no longer share a bedroom or even a state, Katey and I still share books.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I try to give her my favorite books I’ve read in the past year for her birthday and Christmas. I also never visit her without at least a book or two in tow, no matter how little else I’ve packed.  And when she and her family come visit me in July, there will be a stack of great reads waiting. When she bought a new bookcase recently and posted a blurry photo on Facebook, I tried to spot things I’d given her and tag them. It was like a Word Search for book nerds. And she’ll reciprocate: I think there are already five books lined up for her to bring up for me next month.

I’ve always been a book sharer and love trading off with friends or giving them recommendations, but it’s Katey who I think of with every book I read. All books end up sorted in one of two mental lists:  give to Katey or Katey wouldn’t like. We don’t always love the same things, but where books are concerned, we completely understand each other.

Am I alone in this? Anyone else have a kindred soul whom they just need to share books with? Or do you spread the word to everyone equally?

8 Responses to Sharing is caring

  1. Catherine Whitney says:

    This is sweet, Lauren. I could relate, because I am the same way–in particular, with my Mom, who is 85. Every birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day, I send her a box of my favorite books, and we discuss them. She’s currently involved in a book club at her senior center, and some of the books they’ve chosen are those I’ve sent her. I consider it payback. I developed my love of books from my mother and HER mother. I still remember the thrill of birthdays when I would receive not one, but TEN Nancy Drew books. I can now appreciate the instinct that one book in a beloved series is never enough. My mother also passed along her first editions of all the Wizard of Oz books, which I still have. And my grandmother introduced me to Agatha Christie when I was in my twenties. My parents and grandparents were not highly educated “literary” people. But there were always lots of books around.

  2. Giora says:

    The special bond between you and your sister, enjoying reading the same books, is a blessing. I wonder if you also like the same movies and TV shows. At least I know now that if Katey will like my book, then you will like it too. Hence, I’ll send query to Katey …:) Best wishes from Canada.

  3. Kay Elam says:

    I have a sorority sister I see two or three times a year. When we get together, we swap shopping bags full of paperbacks. It reminds me of trading comic books when I was a child. I wonder, however, how e-readers will change this tradition with my friend. I love the “feel” of books, but the convenience and size of e-readers make them attractive, especially when traveling.

    Have a good weekend.

  4. Gilbert J. Avila says:

    I have a personal tradition. When I meet someone–usually a young person–I like to “feed their heads.” Their parents tell me that I am a good influence on them. I like to stimulate their intellects. I’m pleased to state that many have gone on to college. I’ve fed my daughter’s head and I’m continuing to do so with my granddaughter. My granddaughter will inherit a respectable library when I’m gone. (And I’ve been a reader for most of my 62 years.)

  5. Tami Veldura says:

    There’s a group of 4 of us, myself included, that share books. We all met in college and now whenever any one of us reads a book we recommend it (or don’t) to the others. With 4 different people vetting books we go through a LOT of text VERY quickly.

  6. I also share books with my sister! I’m lucky enough that she lives within walking distance. I could practically throw a book to her house. I was so excited when she finally got a Nook for Christmas, so now we share e-books too.

    I’m curious to know the title of the book about sisterly love you mention in the post. Please share if you don’t mind.

    • Lauren says:

      We’ve yet to share e-books, since I use my Kindle mostly for work reading, but now that you mention it, she did get a Kindle for Christmas. Hmmm…

      The book I was talking about is Nova Ren Suma’s IMAGINARY GIRLS (which happens to be represented by Michael). It’s a gorgeous, atmospheric, literary, and paranormal YA novel with the bond between two sisters at its core. You should share it with your sister as well!

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