I love books. They're fun, educational, and if you collect enough of them your place will look a professor's office.
The Xmas holidays are just around the corner, which means that we'll be bombarded with the same programming, the same icons. That's fine, but the people in these projects tend to get categorized. Before he landed Community, I'm sure there are millions of kids who only knew Chevy Chase as the guy from Christmas Vacation. Are people aware that James Stewart was a legend, not just a guy who did one movie (which tanked when it first released)?
With that said, I think it's extremely important that the late Jean Shepherd (pictured) get some recognition. He's the brains behind A Christmas Story and its narrator, but did you know that he was a radio legend? And did you know that the man was a tremendous humorist, profiling his experiences growing up in Indiana, beyond pining for a Red Ryder BB gun? He wrote about dating, ice cream wars, and life in the Army.
To me, Shepherd is one of the best chroniclers of life in small-town America, right up there with Richard Russo. He's funny, keenly observant, and a great storyteller, the same qualities that make A Christmas Story so good.
With the books, start with Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Remeberances and Other Disasters. In fact, I may re-read that. It's been too long.
Get to a library, jerks.