Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bookish Gifts: Some Handy Guidelines

I've been told I'm hard to shop for. Apparently when your favorite thing in the whole wide world is books, and you are surrounded by people who think reading is a barbaric form of punishment, said people are at a loss when it comes to holiday shopping.

People always want to be the one who got you that perfect gift. I know that's my goal. I want you to open my gift and think "best. gift. ever.", not because it's expensive (oh, it won't be) but because I considered what you truly would have liked instead of what I personally think you should have. Shopping would be much easier if I could just get everyone a bookstore gift card and a bottle of tequila, but that's my wish list.

So here are some handy guidelines for shopping for your bookish friends and family:
  • Don't buy books, unless you really, really know my literary tastes. Just because I love books, doesn't mean I want that book. If I want it, I probably already own it. An example of this failing miserably: My husband, really trying to get me something I would love, braved Barnes & Noble and picked out a book he thought I would love. I don't remember the title, but it was a non-fiction book about local haunted places. Now, I don't love non-fiction. And I really don't love haunted houses (except for the fun Halloween created one, of which this book was not). But so proud was I that he entered a bookstore of his own free will, I thanked him and put the book on the shelf. Where it sat for a few years. And then was donated to the local library unread because I needed room on my bookshelves. The thought was fantastic. The execution, inevitably flawed.
  • Bookstore gift cards are always appreciated. People worry that gift cards make it seem like they didn't put much thought into the gift. To that, I call nonsense. As long as the gift card is for a store that sells things I would like, is for a store that I can conveniently get to or has online shopping availability, I'm a happy girl. Because, really, if you give a bookworm a gift card, their thoughts immediately drift towards all the possible books they may now purchase. Our endorphins overload and we kind of get delirious with the glee. Seriously.
  • We also like bookmarks. Especially ones that mesh with our personalities. Most of us will use just about anything we find to mark our place, but a well considered bookmark will make us smile. Bookmarks on right from Sumptuosity.
  • Don't get that ereader, unless you're sure that's what I want. Ereaders are high-end purchases in the book world. And not all readers are gung-ho about digitizing their libraries. With the many choices available to ereader shoppers, you don't want to spend a fortune on a Kindle only to find the person hates Amazon with a fiery passion, but would have loved a Nook. 
  • Bookends are mostly extinct. There are some fabulous bookends I would love to own. I just have no place to display them on my bookshelves. Which are crammed to the breaking point with books. Bookends seem like the obvious bookish gift, but most book lovers have hundreds of books that need to be stored somewhere and bookends, while pretty, mostly just take up space.
  • You know I need more bookshelves, but do you know which ones I need? Book lovers always need more bookshelves. But, we don't always have the room to put them. Eventually most of us end up donating books to make room on our already owned shelves or we get pretty inventive as to where bookshelves can fit. I have a bookshelf on my desk. I know others who have them in their closets. This is one of those things we probably have to pick out for ourselves. Perhaps a gift card with a note saying it's specifically for bookshelves would work.
  • Think mugs. For some reason not completely known, readers love hot beverages. Coffee or tea or cocoa or hot cider, most of us love a nice cup of something. We will appreciate a nice mug. Especially if it has a literary reference on it.
  • Funny literary t-shirts are awesome. Bookish people are widely considered geeky. And we're okay with that. In fact, we'd love to display our awesomeness right there on our chests. T-shirt on right from Threadless.
  • Sign us up for stuff. Dose the person have a membership to Library Thing? A lifetime membership will only cost you $25. How about BookSwim? It's the Netflix of books and plans start at $9.95 a month.
While these aren't hard and fast rules, they should help when considering what to buy for your favorite bookish person.  

Did I miss anything you'd wish people would get you? Is there anything you wish people wouldn't get?

No comments :

Post a Comment