Annual Christmas Booktalk to be held Nov.14


December can be a busy time for students with finals, travel plans and gift-buying for the holiday season, but this stress can be relieved by planning gift ideas ahead of time.

For those who need ideas for Christmas gifts, the Annual Christmas Booktalk may provide valuable advice by recommending book titles.  The Booktalk will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. in the Lee Library auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Anita Charles, BYU Bookstore children’s book buyer, will present at the Booktalk.

“It’s a time for real book lovers,” Charles said. “They are thinking about books for gifts and books for themselves.”

Charles said she plans on presenting new book titles from the past year. The book titles will include books for children and  young adults. She will be presenting over sixty titles, including “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” a book based on the story used in an Academy Award-winning short film.

“I always try to do a few Christmas-themed books, but we mostly think about books to give for gifts,” Charles said.

For the last four years, Charles has presented the Booktalk.

“I try to keep it targeted for the same interests,” Charles said. “The titles are different, so that is the thing that changes every year.”

The original concept of the Booktalk began in the 1980s. Janet Francis, Lee Library librarian, collected a list of books which could be used as Christmas gifts or as great reads around Christmastime. This list eventually turned into an event in 1993. Francis, along with Leon Archibald, who at the time was the BYU Bookstore children’s book buyer, and Gabi Kupitz, Lee Library librarian, started the Annual Christmas Booktalk. The event originally took place in the Clarke Building, but soon the crowd outgrew the room and its location changed to the auditorium of the Lee Library.

Kupitz said she has enjoyed being a part of organizing the Booktalk.

“It’s a nice way to kick off the Christmas season,” Kupitz said. “We try to do it before the hectic season starts with finals and performances.”

Kupitz encouraged students to attend the event.

“It’s just an hour of time to relax and breathe,” Kupitz said. “No one is going to test you on any of this.”

Leah Robinson, a senior studying English, became involved in the Booktalk when she started working in the children’s book section of the bookstore.

“I love it,” Robinson said. “It’s my favorite event of the year. Anita knows so much about books, and it’s so much fun to hear her favorites.”

Robinson said she also enjoys the company of having fellow book lovers attend.

“I get so excited about good books,” Robinson said. “So it’s exciting to be with a full auditorium of people who are excited about new books.”

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