Give Someone a Book

Since I took up writing as a second career, I have shunned buying gifts other than books. Not all enjoy books as much as I do, but the delight in giving them is immeasurable. 

And today is another opportunity to give someone(s) a book. It’s International Book Giving Day! 

I chose to give the first book in the Oh, Mateo! series (Half and Half) to Rose.

She is no longer a child, she is all of 25, with a husband who left her, and three children. When she came to live with us as Ate Vi’s (our househelp of over 30 years) assistant two weeks ago, I found out that because of an extremely hard life, she barely finished third grade.  

Rose has a difficult time reading, but she is a survivor. She could text, is street smart, and knows her way around. When I invited her to church last Sunday, she cried during our Pastor’s sermon. She said she realized that despite her enormous problems, she is still here today, intact, because of God’s grace. 

Tony suggested that the best gift we probably could ever give Rose is to share with her my children’s books to read, one at a time, with the hope that she will begin to have a hint of the childhood she never had.

She breezed through the Filipino text, but she gave up on the English text. Ate Vi is encouraging her to read syllable per syllable. Eventually, I am sure, she would catch on.

We who are exposed to books take these printed gems for granted. But there are many others, those in far-flung places all over the country, who, like Rose, have no access whatsoever to anything readable. 

As we celebrate International Book Giving Day today, may we find it in our hearts to give someone a book.

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