Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thoughts on Gifting Books

The holidays are coming soon so I'm sure most of you are starting to think of presents to give. I'm really excited to start gift shopping but the problem is, I have no idea what to get! I'm just SO BAD at buying gifts that I almost always end up buying mine at the last minute. So thank goodness I have a back-up plan for when I really, TRULY cannot find anything: books.

Books are always my absolute last resort and I have to say, it's a last resort I'm pretty comfortable with! I have an abundance of bookstores nearby so I know I can always get a book in dire situations, if need be.

As a person who loves books and someone who would be MORE than happy to receive a stack of books for Christmas though, I get asked a lot (or at least by my parents) why I don't often gift books. And the answer to that question is actually quite complicated so I thought it'd be interesting to break it down in this post.

The truth is, I don't like gifting books. I LOVE recommending books and forcing people to read books but when it comes to giving them as a present, I'm a bit more...hesitant.

For starters, I'm never quite sure what my friends or relatives - let's call them giftees - have read or haven't read which obviously, makes book shopping a bit more difficult. I can usually make a rough assumption based on books I've heard of through the newspaper or the blogosphere and my (sparse) knowledge of what the giftee has read. Most of the time though, this method is basically as good as closing my eyes and randomly picking a book which is reason #1 why I don't gift books.

Reason #2 is that I always end up picking books for myself instead of the giftee! What happens is I get frustrated by my complete uselessness in the bookstore when I'm not shopping for me so I start doing...just that. It's easier! Honestly, you should see how annoyed I get when I'm shopping for books and especially when I'm browsing in the Teens section, I just get distracted and forget about the person I'm buying the book for. Oops.

And then sometimes, I just feel like maybe the person won't be able to appreciate the book as much as a blouse, for example (reason #3). I have great friends and relatives that do enjoy books but I feel as if it's more enjoy as you would a glass of orange juice in the afternoon. Good but perhaps it wasn't necessary or something else might have been better. So I don't gift them books unless I have no other idea. Books just feel so insubstantial compared to everything else they might like better and I know that if I were to get a book for some people, they'd be really bummed.

And obviously I know that it's the meaning that counts and not what you get them or how much you spent but it's just nice to know that you're getting them something they'd REALLY like. It's the holidays after all! If I can, I'd like to shell out a bit more to treat my loved ones to something nice.

How about you? Do you like giving books as presents for the holidays? Or are you like me? Do you get distracted when shopping for books too? I bet it's hard not to! Tell me in the comments below! 

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