1/13/2008

on giving books

My wife and I decided to start giving books as gifts for birthdays, christmas or whatever reason. This would be our grain of rice to make a better world (bullshit). Lately, it turned out not a great idea.
Last year I bought my brother one of the books that really made me laugh. Probably the funniest book I've ever read. It's called "A long way down".
A couple of weeks ago, we were talking and I go like: Hey, what did you think about "A long way down?" and he answers: It's on the car, I didn't read it.
P: Why didn't you read it?
V: Cause I am not into fiction.
P: Oh, you are not into fiction. That's sad because you are missing beautiful stories.
V: Yeah...I am not into beautiful stories either.

At this point of the conversation, and because he is a scientist, I assumed that he was only reading science.

P: So, this book would be a great opportunity for you to rediscover the pleassure of reading fiction.
V: I just told you that I didn't want to read fiction.

But I was a little bit mad. Let's suppose that is not a book, but a shirt. And this guy, my own bro, is telling me that he is not interested in using my shirt and he is leaving it resting in a messy dirty stinky car.

V: You should have given me a book that I would want to read. Not a book that YOU want ME to read.
P: But a book that you want to read is a book that you can buy on your own. It doesn’t involve a nice cultural transaction of experiences. My gift means: I had an incredible time reading this and I want the same for you.
V: That’s where you are wrong, if you wanted me to have a great time you should have thought of a book that I would love to read.

Point taken. I realized two things:
1-When you give a book you don’t want them just to enjoy, you want them to enjoy the same way yo do. Is this selfish? I don’t know.
2-My brother is going to sell his messy dirty stinky car with an amazing book. What a great deal a car with “A long way down” on the back.

My friends, this days I am sending some copies of “The tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell.

1 comment:

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