It is not my usual habit to include material items in my count of things I feel thankful for, but the parcel that arrived via Deutsche Post today represents much more than the material.
In November I saw an Instagram post from Shakespeare and Company, an English bookstore in Paris. The post explained The Year of Reading program offered by the bookstore. Shakespeare & Co employees would package their recommended reads for the lucky participant to discover in their mailbox throughout 2018. Immediately I sent the post on to my daughters who received it politely, but with far less enthusiasm than I would have anticipated. So, I thought maybe it was just me who found the concept intriguing. I mulled it over for days finally deciding that I was not comfortable spending the amount being charged on a gift for myself.
What I didn't realize until Christmas was that one daughter had seen the same post minutes before I did. She had already shared it with her sister, and they were discussing what a perfect gift it would make for me as they received my forwarded post. They were getting in touch with their brother and father and didn't need me complicating their plans.
The first of three installments arrived today. It did not disappoint. The attention to detail in the packaging made my heart race just opening the box. Literary quotes cover the wrappings.
The bags are sealed with the company logo, and it is also stamped inside each book. Each of the books is wrapped with a note from the staff person who chose it explaining why they picked this particular book for the package.
Tucked inside each book is a bookmark featuring a different photographic image from the bookstore. On a sheet of stationery a poem has been typed on an old typewriter in the store. A poem is tucked into each book. One of the books is even signed by the author.
Everything about this package was meant to make a literary nerd's heart swoon...and it succeeded.
Which brings me to my list of Ten Things of Thankful this week:
For books and for words that have the power to move me.
For talented writers.
For Paris and memories of browsing at Shakespeare and Company. For grown children who are intrepid world travelers and have encouraged me to be as well.
For the four incredible and generous people I am lucky enough to claim as my family. They are the very best gifts of all.
I am cheating a bit. The Last Nice Thing Someone Did for You was one of the prompts for the Writer's Workshop this week. I saw the prompts right after posting this piece, and knew it works for that prompt as well.