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When I was eight, Santa gave me a book of selected Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytales for New Year’s. A book?! I cried my eyes out because I wanted a doll. Luckily, my parents are wise and, though they don’t like to see me sad, they knew the value of what they were giving me and knew I’d be thankful soon enough.

The book was wonderfully illustrated and expertly translated (which is something that took me 10-15 years to start noticing and appreciating). Though I loved Disney’s “Little Mermaid,” Hans’s version that echoes with loneliness and sadness is much more vivid in my heart. (Yes, in heart.)

Today I view that long passed New Year’s Eve as the beginning of my love towards literature and great happiness books brought to my life. As William S. Burroughs (as unlikely as he is to be quoted on a joyful occasion such as this holiday) wisely said:

“My characters are quite as real to me as so-called real people; which is one reason why I’m not subject to what is known as loneliness. I have plenty of company.”

True, a person who enjoys the company of dead writers and characters from a book might be considered cuckoo, OR……. truly rich.

Wishing everyone to find something that is a constant source of joy and warm shelter, as books, reading and writing are to me… and with that, I’ll leave you to a hopefully wonderful 2014!