If you live in New York and have never visited the New York Public Library‘s main branch at Bryant Park, shame on you. If you’re a non-New Yorker, add it to your future bucket list. I don’t need to justify this.
With that said, I could never say no to a literary Halloween party at this gorgeous library. I owe a big thanks to my friend Hilary for inviting me to the most lit party of the year (yes, the puns were used): The Library After Hour’s Halloween Masquerade on Oct. 26.
Indeed, it’s the most wonderful time of year. And for two solid reasons: Christmas presents in the shape of books and cold and cozy days meant for cuddling up with your favorite read. So if you have a bibliophile in need of some holiday magic, here are my picks for the best gifts, Big Little Lit style:
Etsy is full of creative and thoughtful gifts, and its Book Club MVP section is no joke. It clearly knows that there’s nothing like the smell of books to get a book lover’s imagination running wild. Choose between a classic bookstore with Earthy tones, Divination classroom or Christmas in the Great Hall for the HP fanatics, or even old books to set the perfect reading mood.
Harry is more than just my homeboy. In fact, he changed my life. The series taught me about creativity and having imagination, the importance of reading, and how fun and emotional it can be. It showed me what having a passion meant because Lord knows I’m passionate about Harry Potter. And I’m not going to say I choose friends based on their HP opinions. But if you don’t like Harry Potter, then GTFO.
Quite frankly I’m surprised it’s taken me this long to write a post dedicated to The Chosen One. So let’s not waste any time. My dearest, Harry James Potter, and my girl, J.K. Rowling, you got ranked.
You’d think a book blogger would have read all of the classics, but au contraire. As someone whose wish list grows exponentially each day, it’s impossible to have read the most beloved in the world. When new masterpieces come out each year, it’s easy to forget about the classics and forge ahead with the current bestsellers.
But when a friend sent me Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” list, via PureWow, I was surprised that I’d only read 10 of the top hundo. (I’ve sort of read two others on the list, one of which I promise to pick back up eventually.) Was I really such a literary novice?
I can’t exactly describe when it happened, but at some point in the past 12 months, books sort of became my life blood. I’ve loved reading as long as I can remember. There was the first story, Dick and Jane, that I read in preschool, and I firmly remember my mom telling my kindergarten teacher that I’d already finished multiple books halfway through the school year. My teacher was ecstatic upon hearing this news, and even though I was proud of the triumph they exuded, I didn’t think it was all that exciting. Reading was a part of my life. It was that simple.
Dick and Jane–my first book!
Next came Little Golden Books, which I devoured, and then I had my “Ah ha!” moment with Harry Potter. (I don’t think I need to explain this. I mean, I was the kid who played Harry Potter at recess and fought with her brother about who got to read the newest book first and what the reading increments were.)
From there I discovered the 50 state books that my elementary school library owned. Around this same time I also read nearly every Bailey School Kids book (any and all fans HAVE to check out this list), and all of this resulted in me completing more book reports than any other child in Mrs. Wrigley’s third grade class. Children’s fiction shortly gave way to my Nicholas Sparks phase. This preceded an intense fascination with chick lit, which still exists by the way, and Emily Giffin, my favorite author. And during my college days, I discovered my love for historical fiction, still my favorite genre.