It may not quite rank up there with the New York Sun's answer to Virginia about Santa Claus, but HarperCollins's president of sales, Josh Marwell, wrote the following stanzas to lift the morale of his troops as the industry faces its most difficult period in decades. “The poem is just one more note in the ways our industry has been rallying around our product,” Marwell explained. “Books are perfect gifts and can be personalized to fit any recipient's taste, sensibility and interests. A well-chosen book can give as much pleasure to the giver as it does to the recipient.”

A Holiday Poem, 2008

'Twas a month before Christmas, and all through the house

Not a consumer was spending, not even with mouse.

The goods were placed by the cash wrap with care,

Though a very bad season was the big fear.

The anchors were talking, alarmed in their chairs,

While visions of breadlines added to cares.

And Mom with her list, and Dad with his frown,

Decided to cancel their trip into town.

There will be no gifts, it was determined this year,

The bull has gone missing; here comes the bear!

Yet a cry went out from all those that live:

There must be something, something to give.

From across the land there rose quite a cheer,

Let's find a gift that isn't so dear!

Let's find a gift that people will want

In Ariel, Baskerville and other cool font.

Let's find a gift that gives a reward,

That all can enjoy—even the bored!

For it's books that make the best gifts of all,

For every season from summer to fall.

For Christmas, Hanukah, Diwali and Eid,

Books are must gifts for all that can read!

Now, Edgar! Now, Lennon! Now, Marley and Wally!

On, Collins! On, Wicked! On, Fancy! On, Nancy!

To the top of those lists! To huge POS!

Now sell away! Sell away! Sell away all!

Let's not give up hope for the season now here.

Books are winners, so don't shed a tear.

Consumers are coming back very soon.

Happy holidays to all, and to all Goodnight Moon!