Receiving a book unexpectedly, chosen just for you, is one of the best feelings in the world. Buy a Friend a Book Week is a such brilliant idea. From the website:
Celebrating BAFAB is easy. Just get yourself to a real-life or virtual book store during Buy a Friend a Book Week (the first weeks of January, April, July, and October) and, well, buy a friend a book! But here's the fun part: you can't buy your friend a book because it's their birthday or they just graduated or got engaged or had a baby or anything else. You have to give them a book for no good reason. In fact, this present out of the blue from you should shock the pants off of whomever you decide to give it to. And it'll make them happy. And that's the point: promote reading, promote friendships. Just make sure to let them know about Buy a Friend a Book Week, so they can spread the joy in turn.
I've done this twice now, and it's so fun! I did pick two friends who had birthdays in those weeks -- one in early October, one in early January -- but we hadn't exchanged gifts for ages and because they were on my mind, I chose them as recipients. (They are also two of the biggest book lovers I know.)
For Jennifer, I got a Persephone book. We'd been talking about these books for awhile, but she hadn't treated herself to one yet. I had her go to the website and pick out the one she wanted me to order for her, as I couldn't choose from all of the lovely books they have. And I wanted her to experience the fun of browsing the beautiful website and picking out a title she could anticipate receiving. (She picked Every Eye by Isobel English.)
For Michelle, I got The Soup Peddler's Slow & Difficult Soups: Recipes & Reveries by David Ansel. Michelle used to be my neighbor, and she was the person I could call up and say, "Have you got a cup of sugar? I'm baking and just discovered I'm all out!" And then we'd end up hanging out together for the rest of the afternoon with our kids. She always has great food ideas, and I thought she'd enjoy this fun recipe/story book.
Later, Jennifer and Michelle both surprised me with books during a BAFAB week: Jennifer with Eat, Pray, Love, and Michelle with The Creative Family. I didn't expect them to "spread the joy" back to me, but I'm not complaining! As I said at the start of this post, receiving a book unexpectedly, chosen just for you, is one of the best feelings in the world.