As we approach the holiday season, gifts are on my mind. I have lists of ideas for my kids, and a few items in mind for my husband and other family members, but what about me? When someone asks what I'd like for Christmas, books come to mind. But I have lots of books. Piles of books. Shelves of books. How do you buy a gift for an avid reader and know it is something they'll really love?
Here are a few tips that I'd like to share:
1. Ask. That may seem very simple, and not so fun, but if you have a book lover on your list I promise they won't be sad to see one of the books they have on their "want" list under the tree! If you don't want them to know what you're getting them, ask for a list of books and then just buy one or two. It will still be a surprise, but you'll be sure to get something they love.
2. Accessories. If you're not sure which books they've already read or would like to read, don't buy a book. Instead, buy some accessories. Bookmarks, bookends, bookshelves, reading lights, reading journals, a new case for a Kindle or Nook (if you know they have one) ... or a new Kindle or Nook if you know which one they'd want.
3. Bookish stuff to wear or display. It's amazing how many bookish things are available today. From shirts and scarves to necklaces and purses, you can get just about anything that has a quote or picture from your friend's favorite classic. There are throws and throw pillows, framed artwork and maps of book settings. Take a look at Etsy and you'll find just about every item transformed with a bookish theme. Just keep your friend's style in mind as well!
4. A special edition of a classic. It's hard to know how someone feels about certain classics. However, there are some beautiful editions of classic books that would make many book lovers quite happy. I'm not a big fan of reading classics, honestly, but I would still love a beautiful version of a classic to either read or just display.
5. A gift card. This may seem even more boring than #1, but I guarantee that most book lovers would absolutely love a gift card to a bookstore. There are many options, from local stores to national chains and Amazon.com.
You may have noticed I didn't recommend you buy the hottest new release or a book by an author your friend has read before. I strongly recommend against buying a book for a friend unless you know they want to read it and you know they haven't already gotten it for themselves. Most avid readers will buy their favorite author's book as soon as it's released, and many aren't interested in reading all of the books on the best sellers lists. Stick to the tips above, and you're guaranteed to find the perfect gift for the book lovers on your list.