Our thanks to author Cash Kushel for this guest post on a “novel” idea!
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…
I’m not trying to bash people’s love of wine. In fact, I have two nieces in the wine business. But how many times have you been invited to someone’s home for a barbecue, a party, drinks or dinner? On those occasions, proper etiquette suggested bringing a gift for your host or hostess as you walked 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.
Instead, bring a book to your host(s). What’s holding you back? Maybe you 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… YOU!
Buy a whole box of book(s) and keep them on hand for sudden gift needs! 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 a 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.
Now, if you’ve already pushed your book on all your friends and neighbors, consider partnering up with fellow authors. Each of you can “trade” a few books, giving you new material to gift your host. 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? Bring your friends an unknown author and an interesting wine. All your friend will need is that fireplace…
Have a “novel” idea of your own? Share it with us!
Cash Kushel is the author of four books, including his newest release, Sense of Direction. Besides a successful career as a novelist, he is an award-winning professor at New York’s Fordham University Graduate School of Business, where he has been teaching for 25 years.