Books as gifts

The Gift by Jason MChristmastime is just around the corner, and I’ve started to give a thought or two about gift-shopping. As a book-reader myself, I’ve always wanted to give books, because they can be so much more than “just books”.

However, I’ve never been able to give books as gifts. If my choice is a good one for my receiver, there’s also good chance they already have the book. If they don’t already have the book, there’s a chance they won’t like it. Gift certificates to book stores almost feel like a cop-out (although I do personally like them). Coffee-table books relating to an interest are also usually on the expensive side.

Without the luxury of wishlists, how do you go about giving books as gifts, if you ever do?


  • I always give books as gifts. Typically, I look at the interests of the person that I’m giving that particular gift to, and either buy them a book that I loved on that subject, or one that people I trust in the blogosphere raved about.

    • Do you ever end up getting a book for them that they already had? Assuming they had no wishlist or anything like that. I know I’ve tried a couple of times before but a couple of times as well, I’ve ended up getting them something they already had :(

  • Like you, I avoid giving books as gifts. When I do give books, they tend to be non-fiction unless I *know* that someone likes a particular author and definitely hasn’t read the book. For example, it’s only just been released, we happened to discuss it, and I discover that they haven’t read it.

    I tend to think that non-fiction (history, music, etc) is relatively safe as, even if someone is interested in a topic, they’re not usually the kind of book that you rush out to buy for yourself, although having them on a bookshelf to flick through can be nice. I know I enjoy receiving them as gifts myself, at any rate. :)

    • That’s a good idea about nonfics. I’ve given another avid reader the 1001 books you must read before you die book, for example (not sure if that is the exact title). And yes, I myself generally wouldn’t be off buying nonfics for myself; I actually have very little, most of them related to creative writing, lol.