Friday, December 30, 2011

Share the Gift: A Movement?

When I launched my Share the Gift Double Kindle 3G Giveaway in August, I dreamed it would spark a movement that would encourage others to share their gifts, to pass along their blessings in order to make the world a better place. Winner Sandra Marchetto is helping to make that dream come true.

Sandra received a Kindle 3G for winning my contest on December 16, 2011.

According to Share the Gift guidelines, she also chose a second Kindle 3G recipient--her son Willie, a college student who will now be able to download textbooks whenever he chooses, thanks to Kindle 3G capabilities.

But Sandra's generosity does not stop there. Prior to receiving her new Kindle 3G, Sandra owned a Kindle equipped for WiFi only. She plans to share her love for books by passing that Kindle on to a third recipient.

And that's not all. Now that Sandra's book collection is shifting to e-books, she has "boxes and boxes" of paperbacks to share. While she will keep the hard copy titles she holds most dear, she is donating the rest in manageable allotments to local residential centers and nursing homes. "They are loving it," she reports.

Sandra's desire to share the gift of reading began long before my contest, long before my novel Delivery was published, even long before Kindles existed.

When Willie was 18 months old, Sandra quit work to be a stay-at-home mom. At 7 A.M. on their first day at home, he carried a book into the living room and asked her to read to him. "As a child," she recalls, "Willie would sit for as long as someone would read to him. Most young children will only sit for a few pages, but he would go back for book after book." Sandra, a busy mom, took the time to read those stories to her son.

Sandra is a firm believer that the earlier children start reading, the more likely it is that they will develop a love for it. Her experience lends proof. At age 2 1/2, Willie loved books so much that he even read to his puppy Ginger while "sitting on his backup book . . . to make sure he had plenty of material to keep her interested."

Willie enjoys reading because Sandra shared a gift--her own love for books.

Now it's YOUR turn. Did a caring adult take time to read to you when you were a child? What role do books play in your life? How might you share your love for reading during the new year and beyond? I'll be looking for your answers in the comment section below.


  1. I love this blog! Sharing the gift of reading is one of the best gifts :)

    My dad would always read to me and push me to read books that were probably out of my reading level. I've loved books my whole life. I once got grounded from reading when I was younger because it was literally all I would do. I'm always reading something and I think it is one of the best hobbies or interests you can have. I try to read to the girls, if they would sit still long enough, but I've noticed they love to read on their own. I think it is because they see me reading and want to do it to. Sometimes when I'm reading they will sit in my lap and point at words. It makes me so happy and proud that I am passing my love of reading onto my children!

  2. Your dad set an excellent example for you, Heather, and now you are passing that on to your girls. That's what it's all about! I love your story about getting grounded from reading. You obviously treasured that privilege so much that your parents knew removing it would be punishment. Keep sharing your love for books with those babies. Who knows? Maybe someday one or both of them will write best selling novels for us all to read!

  3. Hey Diana! How's everything? Hope all is well.
    My Grandmother used to read to me all the time. I was at my grandparents house often. Saturday night was my parents date night so before bed we always read at least one book if not more. My mother read to me too and I have passed this love of reading onto my three children. I still read to them but I'm not supposed to admit that since they are 17, 13 and nine. I love and cherish every minute of our time together!

  4. Bethany, I'm sure you cherish your memories at your grandma's house. My grandma read to me, too, and those were some of the most precious moments of my childhood. How AWESOME that you still read to your kids. They may not admit it in public, but they will love you for that for the rest of their lives. Thanks for sharing with us, and happy reading to you!

  5. Thanks Diana, for encouraging readers to share the gift of stories. Our local Barnes & Noble runs a drive every year for shoppers to purchase books which are donated to Seattle Childrens' Hospital. Children who spend the holiday season in the hospital receive a brand new book to read. I have loads of fun choosing books for kids that are the same ages as my grandchildren. Enjoy your blog! ~Kathleen

  6. Diana, What a beautiful story! Yes, your little contest has yielded many blessings. When I was home for Christmas, my family and I sat around sharing our favorite childhood stories that our parent's (mostly my Dad)used to read to us. I loved reading to my children and now my grandchildren. My 6 yo grandson,Jacob, loves books so much that he insists on doing the reading. I love Sandra's story. It is a testimony to the beauty and blessings of reading. Yes, my friend, you have started a movement right here on your blog. May your New Year be filled with health, happiness,hope and of course, the joys of a grandbaby :-)

  7. Back-to-back Kathleen comments--how fun!

    Kathleen Kohler, I commend your Barnes & Noble for involving the community in brightening a hospitalized child's day while also promoting literacy. I LOVE it!

    Everyone else, don't miss Kathleen Kohler's inspirational articles and life notes on her website at

    Kathleen Pooler, your sweet comments always warm my heart. How fantastic that your family continues to share favorite stories through the generations. What a perfect way to keep memories alive and to perpetuate a love for reading. I love your blog post "Sharing the Gifts of the Season through Storytelling." Everyone, check it out at

  8. Wonderful giving of reading! Glad that she won. :)
    I didn't have anyone to read to me nor share the love of reading.
    I have always read to my children and now my Grands. I am always looking for good reads for them for gifts and just because.
    The older Grands and I will share a book together. Each will take a turn to read a chapter. Fun in sharing views. :)
    Bless you and yours.

  9. Wendy, good for you that you love reading as an adult even when you didn't have that example set for you as a child. What a blessing that you have made sure to read to your children and grandchildren--and to discuss with them as you read. That's COOL! Hopefully, you have started a tradition that will last for generations on end!