Apparently books are the most popular presents for us Czechs. They probably always have been because I remember that even when I was attending elementary school, kids were always talking about the books they got for Christmas or for good grades at the end of the school year.
My sister and I too were given books for everything and even though the choice was limited in 1980s I don’t remember that there ever was a really terrible or boring book. It might be that our mum was getting us books she liked herself when she was growing up or she just had a good taste.
Actually I need to ask her how many books she actually owned as a child. She was growing up only with her mum who was a single parent (something which was quite looked down at in 1950s) and they certainly didn’t have a lot of money to spare. My sister and I had bookshelves stuffed with books and even more so when we were old enough to browse secondhand bookshops and choose what to read ourselves. The secondhand books were not only cheap but also much less monitored so you could sometimes buy there things that were not allowed to be published.
I still read quite a lot, I would say. Last year I read about eighty books in the twelve months even though the number has decreased compared to previous years. I am still overjoyed that there is a month dedicated to books though. Books are wonderful, they open new unthinkable worlds and they can sooth better than a chocolate bar or a bottle of wine. Tomorrow morning on my way to work I and one of the books I’m reading will try to have good quality time together.