Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

I love this time of year. Things seem to slow down just a tad, just before the new year, and allow some room for quiet and even spurts of uninterrupted reading. Joy!

I do hope that you have been able to carve out some moments of peace this holiday and that the stress of things piling up in the weeks ahead isn’t too daunting. It can be a scary feeling.

One of the books I managed to finish last week was Nicholas Basbanes’ Among the Gently Mad and it had a few bookish Christmas facts in there.

  1. The first time “Merry Christmas” appereared in print was in a travel book printed in 1617
  2. The first illustration of Saint Nick was in 1863
  3. The first commercially printed Christmas card was in 1843
  4. The earliest known printed illustration of Santa coming down a chimney is from 1841

I have to admit to being surprised at just how young Santa is.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which offers tours and thoughts behind people who collect books and associated artifacts. Basbanes has been at the bookman game a long time. Though I was bummed that I was coming to this book late. It was published in 2002. So many of the radio shows, blogs, dealers, names, etc. aren’t relevant these days. I hate that I missed out on something called The Book Guys Radio Show, which seems to have had a long life, before being cancelled.

New Year’s Eve has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s one of the few times there is some semblance of a global party and you get the sense that for a split second everyone is looking forward together. I hope you stay safe and have a fun time as we welcome 2018!

May you read lots of worthwhile words in the new year ahead.

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