I love giving and receiving books for Christmas, but have you ever considered the ultimate book gift?
You could give someone you love the chance to write their own book.
Now some of you might be laughing. What kind of gift is that? Is that just a recipe for a miserable, lonely winter?
I don’t think so. A prominent executive I know has just given his 80-something father the gift of a book, his own memoir, just for the family.
So how can it be fun and enriching for the would-be author of this book? First, he’ll sit down with a prominent writer to for a series of interviews about his fascinating life. The writer will then produce an outline and a sample chapter. Once the gentleman approves, the writer will produce a first draft and, after comments and suggestions from my friend’s father, the final draft.
This will be the father’s story, to be sure, but he won’t have to do the hard work of actually writing it. He’ll just get to do the fun part — thinking about his life and coming up with some fresh insights as he reviews the key moments of his eight decades of life.
It’s an extraordinary gift for the aging father, a chance for him to tell the story of his life and think about what it meant to him. But it’s also a gift to future generations of his family.
Just think: In 100 years or so, his descendants can enjoy reading about what it was like for him to live at a time like this. What’s more, he’s contributing to social historians of the future a slice of history that can come from nowhere else.
So books are a wonderful gift for Christmas, books you can read now, or books you can write for the future.