Top 20 reasons to give poetry books as gifts

The holiday catalogues have started to arrive in my mailbox. And while I’m admiring how pretty they are as decorations for my recycling bin, I felt the need to write a little guidance on surviving this annual season of materialism. Here’s my top-20 list of reasons to make it easy on yourself — buy poetry books for everyone on your list. (My kids helped with this, so please forgive the sarcasms!)

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Top 20 reasons to give poetry books as gifts

#20 – Won’t go out of fashion (because it isn’t fashionable to begin with).

#19 – They probably don’t already have it.

#18 – Everyone needs more poetry!

#17 – Shows that you think of them as extremely intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved people.

#16 – Makes you seem quite intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved.

#15 – Non-perishable.

#14 – Cheaper than a great bottle of wine.

#13 – Invites reading lines aloud (i.e., more fun at a party than a bottle of wine).

#12 – Re-giftable (even after they enjoy it).

#11 – Unexpected gifts are the best.

#10 – So that your friends can’t say they “don’t get” poetry, because, um, they just got it (get it?).

#9 – No one else is getting it for them. You’re the cool friend who knows that they secretly LOVE poetry.

#8 – Maybe they will give you a poetry book, too!

#7 – Easier and less potentially embarrassing than writing them a poem yourself.

#6 – Bargain! You could pay $3.75 for one lackluster poem in a greeting card, or about $0.32 per poem in an award-winning collection.

#5 – So you can skip getting them a greeting card. (That would be redundant.)

#4 – Media-rate postage is cheap, and you get a tracking number, so you know it has been delivered properly.

#3 – Easy to wrap these slim rectangles of bliss.

#2 – A very pretty gift! Poetry collections have the most beautiful covers. Just tie a ribbon around, which can serve as a lovely bookmark.

And…

#1 – Poetry is purified love, distilled from language, breath, and deep longing. Who could imagine a more loving and sincere gift?

Also, the poets and publishers of poetry would be so grateful for your holiday patronage! (Add “good karma” to this list somewhere.) Don’t forget to buy a copy (or a bunch of copies) of my new poetry book, Kali Sutra, here or by ordering through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore. Sorry for this little bit of marketing, and thanks for reading! Happy and peaceful anti-materialism season to you!

—A. Anupama