Today I want to shed light into possibly one of the most underrated kinds of presents one can receive: books. Especially books given by people we hold dear to us. This only applies if you’re the kind of person who enjoys reading, I suppose.
Earlier this year when my boyfriend and I started dating he mentioned he didn’t like giving flowers. Being someone who loves them (and kind of hurt to know that I may never receive flowers from him), I demanded to know why. His answer left me rather perplexed. He said that flowers, although pretty, die.
Over the course of our relationship (we’ve been dating 7 months now) he has developed the habit of giving me books, particularly by one of my favorite authors: Haruki Murakami. Good books are relatively hard to come by here in Doha, with the lack of any reliable book shops so I’m always very pleased whenever he finds something I would love. On the third book he’s given me, Kafka on the Shore (another Murakami novel), I finally understood why he gives me books instead of flowers.
Flowers are beautiful. I believe God made flowers to make the world a prettier place, adding color to it. However, they’re living things so ultimately, they die. Why would you give anyone something you know is going to shrivel up and decay? What was its significance but only a momentary illusion of beauty?
Books, however, are a different story. Literally. They hold worlds and people and beauty that never dies. And unlike flowers, you can always go back to them.
I lost my love for books a long time ago when I got sucked into the realm of jobs and taxes and adulthood. I got too busy for them. Whenever I saw people totally engulfed behind the bindings of a book, I felt envy. I missed that feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to get back into it a few times but I always find myself losing interest or finding something I felt needed more of my attention so I stopped trying entirely.
Right now I find myself at a stage in my life where I feel like I’ve lost everything I used to cling on to. I’ve been feeling very lost and distant and suddenly I remember mentioning to him once that books helped me escape from whatever hardship I was facing. Books provided another realm, a distraction, a way to find myself again. I’ve recently been given a lot of free time on my hands and I used to not know what to do with it, and now I do. I found my love for books again.
Some girls are lucky to receive random bouquets of flowers from their boyfriends every once in a while. I feel like I’m luckier to receive books from mine.