Picture this: You are curled up in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine and a great book. If you could only take one to a desert island, go with the book – not the vino. So when you bring a gift to someone’s home bring a book!
I’m not trying to bash people’s love of wine. In fact, I have two nieces in the wine business. My niece Sherry is out in Napa doing great things with Old Bridge Cellars while my niece Shana is a wine consultant and freelance writer with an informative wine blog called: Shana Speaks Wine.
How many times have you been invited to someone’s home for a barbecue, a party, drinks or dinner? On those occasions, proper etiquette suggests bringing a gift for your host or hostess as you walk through the door. It could be a cake or a well baked pie. Often it is a bottle of wine.
The rub is that what you brought will most probably be consumed by you and the other guests. It’s possible your host gets to enjoy little or none of what you presented. Who brings a chocolate cake to a gathering other than a chocoholic? If you love sipping on a Cabernet it is doubtful you’ll bring Pinot Grigio.
Don’t bring a selfish offering. Instead bring a book to your host(s). What is holding you back? Maybe you are unsure if they read, or fear they have already read the book you might bring. Let’s solve that problem. While anyone could bring a book written by John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Jodi Picoult or Dan Brown, your gift would have the cache of introducing your friends or relatives to an author they are unfamiliar with. That’s where I come in. A book by Cash Kushel would be a welcome addition to anyone’s bookshelf. Buy a whole box of my book(s) and distribute them. Placing a book in a gift bag when you visit someone’s home makes a great impression. You can even send books to a friend with the message. Online booksellers will ship directly to the people you choose.
As an author I have the advantage of always having a stack of books at my fingertips. I inscribe them to my hosts with various witticisms and add my signature. For you it is even easier. All you have to do is hand them the book and say “I brought you this great book written by this up and coming author.” Once they finish reading, they will always remember it was you who helped introduce them to a cast of characters they will never forget. Even if they remember you brought them wine they might be challenged to recall the name on the label. If you bring a book they will thank you later for introducing them to an enjoyable and unique reading experience. It’s exciting to share your discovery of a “new author” with a friend.
If you still insist on bringing a bottle of wine how about contemplating a pairing of sorts. Why not couple it with a good book. If you can expanded your budget, bring your friends an unknown author and an interesting wine. All your friend will need is that fireplace. Bring on the books!
P.S. Please comment on what you think of this idea. Have you ever brought a book to someone’s home? Tell us about some of the unique items you might have brought. Don’t make it too enticing, because my ultimate goal is to see my books become widely held, almost like a company whose stock has finally gone public. Have fun.