I just realized something for the first time today. I always knew it as fact, but I never truly appreciated it the way I should... It was one of those things you just take for granted.
I have friends that buy me books!
Not those kind of "friends" who hear you go on and on about a book that you've been dying to read and then go out and buy it for you, nor am I talking about the type of "acquaintance" who simply buys you a book because it was on Oprah's book club or the New York Times Best Seller List. I am talking about the type of friend who reads a book and goes "Wow, that was great, I bet So-and-So would get a kick out of that one..." I am talking about the type of friend who wants to share their favorite author with you. I am talking about the type of friend who looks at some book they would never read in a million years, unless it was the ONLY book on a desert island and the natives said "Read book 'bout kittens, rainbows, and ponies or we fricassee your ass for dinner," and says I would never read a book about kittens, rainbows, and ponies in a million years unless it was the last book on earth and I had a choice between reading it and being fricasseed, BUT I bet So-and-So would LOVE it, so they buy it for you against their own better judgement and taste. THOSE types of friends are one of the best things you could ever have happen to you!
Even if you don't really enjoy the book, or if you've read it before, or if you set it on the floor and your dog eats it, a book given with thought from a friend is probably one of the best presents I could ever hope to receive.
There are many joys in life. Books, friends, kittens, ponies, rainbows, and any combination there of, are among the best!