Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ON BOOKS ~ Better Than A Yankee Swap...



So I signed up to participate in this Book Blogger Holiday Swap I'd been seeing here and there amongst all of you book bloggers. I felt a little guilty because, after all, we aren't exactly a book blog. I talk about book related topics several times a month with reviews scattered here and there. Books are only a piece of the pie. But the book blogging community was the first to welcome us with open arms in the blogosphere so I saw the BBHS as a way to continue to meet a few new book bloggers and give a little something to one of them in the process. And of course, the chance to receive a small gift in the mail is always fun.

Through the BBHS I was introduced to Jenn of Jenn's Bookshelves because I got to go shopping for her. I hate shopping for gifts. I never have good ideas. But the BBHS allows participants to provide some insight about themselves and I did some poking around at her website to get a better feel for her as a blogger, and a person. I felt like a sneaky detective and was eager to go to the store to fulfill her wishes and contribute a few personal items as well. When she received her gift package she sent me a nice message of thanks and I was so relieved that my ideas for her were well received. I am not sure how I had not already come across her blog before as we share some common connections with others. So I thank the BBHS for nudging my introduction to her along and into my Reader. And also for getting me excited about holiday shopping and gift giving. That helped me get a jump on all my presents!

I was not expecting my Secret Swapper to spoil me by any means. I had suggested they send a book off of my To Read list on Goodreads that they had enjoyed themselves and would recommend. When I came home one night this week after a very long day at the office and Christmas tree needles lovingly scattered by Lucy & Tedy all over the floor, I was instantly delighted to find a box waiting for me - my gift from a stranger - just because.



Woooweee! Look at all that loot! A journal, decorative snowflakes, message pad, bookmark and a book from my list - The Housekeeper & The Professor by Yoko Ogawa. But wait - there's more! Just like on Christmas morning, there was a stocking filled with small treasures - pen and pencils, samplings of tea, cider and hot chocolate, along with candy and chocolate. And finally, some personal touches from the fabulous Cindy of Cindy's Love of Books. Cindy is from Montreal, a city that we visited several summers ago and enjoyed immensely. She shared with us a pretty Montreal postcard and a magnet that promptly went on the fridge to help hold all of those Christmas photos we've been receiving of little nieces and nephews. But best of all was a handmade card - one that I would have paid extra for at Hallmark.

The personal touches - that I tried to provide to Jenn and that Cindy gave to me - are what I feel is the real soul of the blogosphere. That ability to connect with people from all over the planet and build relationships with them on a personal level. Thank you BBHS for creating a perfect forum for friendship, sharing and appreciation. And thank you Jenn and Cindy for putting up with a Bumble. Book blogger or not, I support this community that has given so much to us.

14 comments:

Literary Feline said...

What a wonderful surprise! I am enjoying reading about what everyone is getting from their Secret Santas. :-)

cardiogirl said...

That was a great idea!

I love the internet. It is amazing how you can find some real friendships, via blogging, without ever seeing the other person's face.

I imagine that's what heaven is like -- where we shun the cover, if you will, and our story is out there unadulterated.

Enjoy your books!

Sandy Nawrot said...

That is so totally cool. What amazing gifts, what amazing swappers! You may not think of yourself as a book blogger, but you are a part of us!

Diane said...

What a great loot. I LOVED The Housekeeper and the Professor; enjoy

Penny said...

What a great gift!! I would have liked to participate in the book swap. I will have to keep an eye out for that next year :)

alitareads said...

Wow, what a thoughtful gift! Really, she made that card? It's beautiful. Enjoy your loot!

Jenn said...

I'm thankful that the holiday swap introduced me to you and your blog. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for the thoughtful package you sent me. And thank you to the gang that organized such an amazing community builder!

boliyou said...

How fun! Enjoy your holiday gifts!

kaye said...

how wonderful!

Cindy said...

I am extremely happy that the package got to you and nothing was missing. I truly enjoyed shopping for you and enjoyed every minute of it.

I am not sure if you noticed but i was scooping out your blog for awhile but I finally added you to my reader. I didn't want to do it sooner for fear you would figure out who your Santa was.

Enjoy the book and the goodies. I look forward to talking more with you and getting to know you. Hey if you are ever in Montreal again please let me know and we can meet up.

Happy Holidays to you and your family.

Amy said...

The card Cindy sent you is beautiful! And her gifts for you are wonderful & so thoughtful and generous! What a nice surprise to come home too.
I think Secret Santas and Holiday Swaps are a lot of fun & a great idea!
By the way, you are a Book Blogger and so much more. I'm glad you participated in the swap!
Enjoy your gifts!

Pierre said...

I know Cindy pretty well and she's a very generous person. We have regular lunch meet-ups and she surprised me this week with gift certificates to our favourite meet-up restaurant. It was really thoughtful and a nice holiday surprise.

Enjoy your gifts!

Beth F said...

Wow!!! You got nicely spoiled from your Swapping Santa!!! Woo hoo!

stacybuckeye said...

Great haul :) I really enjoyed that book. Hope you do too :)