Jay Cronley: Consider giving a book this Christmas
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Sunday, November 25, 2012
11/25/12 at 4:17 AM
Here's a little something to think about when it comes to buying a gift: the effort that went into the product being given.
How much work was involved with the machine from Switzerland that makes a perfect cup of coffee, frothy milk included in the process?
Lots of buttons had to be pushed to get it onto your kitchen cabinet, sure.
Somebody has to see that the expensive piece of equipment was securely packaged and design expensive coffee pods that would fit only this model.
But once the original idea about quickly blasting coffee into a cup and swirling milk to a froth had been dispatched, that was pretty much it in terms of creativity.
This is not to minimize in any way, manner or form the skill required to watch stuff whiz by on a conveyor belt. This is to say that some things that wind up as gifts require more talent to put together.
Work of writing: In other words - in any words - give good books.
It was a dark and stormy night. Times 500; and that's inside the head of the writer.
Little is harder than writing a book. I have done it a number of times and can swear about how difficult it can be.
Writing fiction starts with a blank page. Sometimes page 20 seems even blanker.
Writing any kind of a book is a solitary endeavor based entirely on discipline and dedication and self-control.
Writing is solitary because you have all the company you need in the form of characters in the book. Peace and quiet after writing is appealing.
Forget movie work. Movies aren't written so much as they're put together by a committee composed of accountants and recent film school graduates.
Books are fights.
First, you have to think of an original idea; next, write it brilliantly for 300 pages.
Choices: Say that it's cloudy and cool and misting outside, a great fall morning. The choices are as follows: Turn over and worry about Chapter 13 later. Or get up and go back to work, picking up at the part that made no sense at 2 a.m.
Even the greatest writers on earth struggled and wrote clunkers.
Unfortunately for the writer, books aren't bad on page 10. Books are bad to the writer on page 325, right before The End.
There are still bookstores around. Sometimes they're as hard to find as rare books themselves.
Here's what's wrong with giving books over the Internet: You can't delicately read them before you give them, self-gifting, so to speak.
Original Print Headline: Consider giving a book this Christmas