Renate is a serious reader. She loves books, real books, that is, not pixels. And surprises. And packages that come in the mail.
In the old days, when she was a baby reader, she belonged to the original Book of the Month Club. A box of five to seven hardcover books showed up in her mailbox every month. Under the terms of her membership, she was supposed to keep the ones she liked and return the rest. Back then, the Club’s editors must have been flying blind, without benefit of Amazon’s vast consumer database. Still, they must have thought they’d found the goose that laid the golden eggs. Once Renate got her hands on a book, and smelled it (I know, I know, but she’s convinced that real books have a unique aroma that is far superior to their electronic counterfeits… go figure) I’m sure the thought of shipping it back was the last thing in her over-stimulated mind.
When the BOTMC suspended operations for a time, Renate’s membership got lost. So I never got to see the look on her face, or hear the excited squeal when the magic box arrived. Until about a year ago, when I signed her up for Philip’s Book Of The Month Club. She still gets a hardcover book each month, selected by someone who knows her tastes and loves her anyway. And I get to see and hear her happy reaction. Win-win!
Her club is focused on books about bookstores, libraries, and books, but it’s been 18 months now, and really, how many more of those can there be? Suggestions would be welcome! Recent selections include books like:
- The Personal Librarian, by Marie Benedict,
- Diary of a Bookseller, by Sean Bythell,
- The Woman in the Library, by Sulari Gentill, and
- The Nurse’s Secret, by Amanda Skenadore
Books, as Mom used to say, are our friends.