Secret Book Delivery

10 Jun


I love the feeling of finding the perfect gift. However, sometimes I’m so excited I found the perfect gift that I ruin the perfect surprise of blabbing about it before they even open it.

It’s usually around Christmas when I’m binge shopping for everyone on the list that the excitement increases of finding the best obscure and unique gifts. I found a way to feel that excitement more than just in December. A few months ago I started something that is equal parts fun and exciting: secretly ordering a book online and having it delivered to someone’s doorstep.

What better way to make someone’s day than by gifting a book they would enjoy? It’s not just any random book showing up in their mailbox, but a book about a genre they love or the latest release of their favorite author. It takes thought and research. And it takes keeping it a secret.

A few months ago I saw Claire Diaz-Ortiz’s memoir, Hope Runs: An American Tourist, A Kenyan Boy, A Journey of Redemption was about to release (Claire is known as the “woman who got the Pope on Twitter”). My friend Blaire and I heard Claire speak at The Justice Conference in Philadelphia in 2013. Since Blaire and her husband recently became licensed foster parents, I thought my friend would enjoy Claire’s book about her experience at a Kenyan orphanage.

Problem is, Blaire is also a book worm and buys books somewhat often. I gave her specific instructions to not buy a book in the month of April. Well, she did, but luckily not the one I had picked for her. She got a special delivery in the mail and a book to add to her to-read pile.


I introduced my sister-in-law Tifani to Seattle author Sarah Jio, who then introduced Sarah to her book club. Usually I get the latest copy of Sarah’s book in her hands as soon as I can, but this month I was sneaky about it.

Sarah’s latest release Goodnight June came out earlier this month. I had it delivered to my SIL’s house where her sister-in-law is already in line to borrow it when she’s done.

See how fun this is? My friends and I always talk about the latest books we’re into and are always exchanging, borrowing and forgetting to return books to each other.

But a secret (or not so secret since I’m posting about it) book delivery adds another element to a book exchange. It’s spreads the love of reading. It just spreads the love.

We’re halfway through 2014 (yikes!) and soon we’ll be scrambling to make sure we bought Christmas gifts for everyone on our list. But before the craziness starts, slow down and think about what would make someone else’s day. And it will make yours.

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