I love to give bookish gifts. I’m not ashamed to be a self-proclaimed ‘book pusher’ and often find myself buying multiple copies of books I loved to give to friends with the hope that they will love them as much as I did. I think that being told “you’re right! That book was amazing” is such an incredible feeling. But buying books as gifts can be fraught with some complications.
5 Reasons Why Books Might Not Make the Best Gifts
- You don’t know their taste well enough
Romantically, politically or religiously – there are some books that just might not be appropriate as gifts. I have been devastated before when I’ve given people books that I’ve adored for whatever reason and find myself disappointed when others don’t like them for the reasons I loved them. I once gave a male friend my copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen and was slightly shattered when he thought the romance was contrived and silly.
- The person you’re buying for has read everything – twice!
Book worm or book nerd – call them what you like but some people are so well read and read so much that it makes them impossible to buy. You may find that even after you’ve gone and bought something obscure and wonderful only to find out that your giftee has already read it. I think in this case its wise to keep the receipt and try not to be offended if they’ve already read your gift. Take it as a compliment that your gift is so right for them that they have already read it! (Note: a gift card might be best for this type of person.)
- They don’t like reading books
Some people find books to be too big a reading commitment or they like the shiny pages of a magazine more. Books aren’t for everyone and I think that it’s better not to push a gift that won’t be appreciated.
- They don’t like reading the books you like
I have a sister who enjoys reading the occasional book – but she can’t stand most of the books I love. If it’s fantasy or paranormal then she takes a wide berth. I should take my own advice and stop giving her books that aren’t her thing… as evident that she never even took the two I gave her last Christmas home with her…
- Books just don’t fit in their lifestyle
Too busy, not enough space – there are a number of reasons why someone might not want a bookish gift. If it’s a lack of time then perhaps a compilation of short stories could be an idea and for the space challenges maybe ebooks would be a good compromise.
That said – I still love to give books. They’re easy to wrap! They give people the opportunity to unplug from technology (ereaders aside) and relax. It’s cheap to travel to different worlds through a book and even cute fluffy reads can be educational. I’m giving a lot of books to my family this Christmas – from my 21 month old niece who is getting a ten book set of Grug books to my sister who will be receiving the latest Bridget Jones novel – and I’m excited to see what they think.
I also hope to receive some books as gifts – or some bookish gifts! If you love to spread love of literature but you’re not sure how the written word might be received, you can also give some book themed gifts.
A few of my favourites include:
- book quote scarves from storiarts on Etsy. They even have my favourite book Persuasion and sells for just under $50 AUD
- Paper Passion perfume – apparently this smells just like freshly printed books. I love the idea but haven’t smelt it. The packaging is gorgeous – with the bottle resting in what looks like a hollowed out book ($65.70 AUD from Amazon)
- I love to have a good cup of tea or coffee by my side when devouring a book and love literary mugs. I currently drink from a Little Miss Trouble mug but have been lusting after these Penguin mugs for a while. In fact it’s the entire Penguin collection of merchandise that I love. So many gorgeous things!