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Books: the perfect gift.

Last month, I attended a book event in Milwaukee. A good time was had with many author friends. Booze was imbibed, food was eaten, conversations were had, booze was…you get the idea.

One recurring topic of conversation was the economy. At the best of times, most authors are NOT making a living based on their books. They write because they HAVE to put those words to paper.Ideally it allows them a better life.

As times get tougher, many of these writers, folks that provide us with the characters that delight us, fascinate us and make us think, are struggling to continue to do what they love, what they live for.

With that in mind, I ask you to do one simple thing:
Buy a book this holiday season. As I write this, many of you are still trying to figure out what to get folks. C’mon, admit it: You still have not completed your shopping.

Head out to your local book store or your favorite web site. If you are like me, you read a lot of crime fiction. Actually, since this site is devoted to larceny, murder and mayhem, it is a good bet that you read, or know folks that read, crime fiction. If this is the case, it is likely that there is a mystery book shop near you. Head on over there and pick up some titles. Maybe one from a long time fav author, and then ask the staff what else is good. But beware, since that question may provoke a long response that could lead to dozens of titles. Grab one of those suggestions and tackle the words and characters of a new author.

I live in the Twin Cities and am lucky enough to have the Excellent Once Upon A Crime. If you live in Milwaukee, you have Mystery One. Madison has Booked for Murder. These are just a few of the dozens of stores powered by the love of mystery. Like the authors, these folks are not looking to get rich, they simply love the genre and hope to make enough to keep food on the table and books on the nightstand.

In these trying times, we need to vote with our pocket book. If you enjoy these novels, if you want them to continue to be written, you need to step up and make an impact.

Buy a book Buy one for yourself or one for a person on your gift list. Just make sure to buy.