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Give A Book (And Yourself) This Holiday Season

If reading a story is, as my dear friend the late John Gardner used to say, like falling into a vivid and continuous waking dream, then is giving a book like giving someone a dream?

Giving a book is not something we ought to do blindly. We give books to people we love because we think they will convey something about ourselves, something about the world as we see it or something about the world as we would like it to be. We only have one life to live, but we have so many lives in literature — giving a book remains an extraordinary gift.

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Alan Cheuse died on July 31, 2015. He had been in a car accident in California earlier in the month. He was 75. Listen to NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamburg's retrospective on his life and career.