Guest Post: Is gifting books classy or pompous?

Everyone lives in their own little world of social norms. Upon realizing this fact, I’ve enjoyed questioning many of my life choices. Who doesn’t enjoy a strong shot of self-reflection? It’s led to a few realizations of hypocrisy. For example, I’m mostly a pacifist except when it comes to spiders. Spiders should be smitten from the earth. With fire and lightning. Maybe firey lighting. Anyway, I digress. What I wanted to talk to the internet about is that I love gifting books, but don’t enjoy when people give me books. Is that craziness?

Probably. Let me explain my feelings. Then please, pretty please, give me your opinions.

Reasons to Gift Books

I frequently read a book and feel like it’s perfect for someone. I also frequently never know what to buy people on occasions when I’m supposed to give them presents. Thus I give books. I’m either lazy or efficient. My buying them the book and telling them to read it is nicer than alternative ways of making people read books. At least I don’t throw the books through their window, break into their rooms and write the book on their walls, or make them buy the book themselves. Most of my family members receive books for all major holidays. I get to make people read a book, usually one I enjoyed, and support book stores. Also authors. Win-win for me.

Giving a book can be extremely personalized. I hunt for the perfect book. The shopping is a thoughtful process. I don’t just buy everyone Harry Potter even though everyone in the world should read Harry Potter. No. I get deep into genres. I find out who enjoys mysteries with a scientific concentration and fast-pacing and a strong female lead. Time for a Bones novel. I try to personalize the gift as much as possible depending on how well I know the receiver.

I’ve gifted books for years and never had any complaints. However, my family and loved ones are polite. I’m not sure they’d tell me if they didn’t like my presents. I would never tell someone I didn’t like a present unless it really offended me. Maybe if I was given a book on being seen and not heard. That would spark sass. Otherwise I will cherish any item wrapped in shiny paper handed my way.

Reasons I Don’t Want Books as Presents

Please don’t buy me a book. Why, you shout at me. I have a whole blog about books. I love books. All the books. It would seem a logical conclusion to gift me a book. However, I already have many books. Lots of them. You don’t know me! You don’t know what I’m reading right now or already own. If I get a book that is part of a series then you’ve committed me to a whole series of books. This is committing time, emotion, and space I don’t necessarily possess. Stop being so presumptive.

Alternative Gifts for Book Lovers

If you do need to buy a book lover a gift and want to stab me for being a hypocrite, please wait. I will not leave you without hope. I’m a Pinterest addict and have a whole board full of nerdy loves. Booky presents that are not books do exist. Buy your book lover an awesome shelf for their books, a reading rack for the bath tub (the ones that also hold wine are coolest), nerdy apparel from already loved books, book lights, book ends, books that are actually hollow and store stuff, or book jewelry. All of these things exist. Promise.

Otherwise, give people cash. Give the people what they want! Who doesn’t want more cash? Cash can be turned into a book or any of these cool gift ideas. It can also be folded into cranes. So much potential!

That’s it. I have no more thoughts. Feed me your thoughts! Do you like giving or receiving books? Do you have a different go-to gift for book lovers? 

-Caitlin

The Book Bard

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I Won’t Recommend Books…But I Know who Will!

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Photo Credit: Penguin

First off, thanks to everyone who voted in my first ever poll yesterday. I’m going to write a companion post once the poll is no longer visible next week to discuss the results. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then click here to read the post and get your vote in before it’s all gone!

Okay. So y’all know that I don’t recommend books. Ever. Even when I’m asked by someone who knows that I still hesitate to do so. Well it turns out that there are some people who are eager to recommend some books for the reader in your family. Even though I’d just say get an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card, but that’s just me.

The wonderful folks over at Penguin have set up the Penguin Hotline this holiday season to help you get that special someone the perfect book. Now there’s no doubt in my mind that they will be recommending books they’ve published, so obviously they aren’t recommending the “perfect” book to anyone. More like the “perfect book we published.” But Penguin Random House is huge and I’m sure they’ll really try finding the best matches for every person.

And it’s super easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple form about the person’s reading habits and you’ll receive an email within a couple of days with some recommendations. Simple.

So if someone in your family or circle of friends is big on reading and you’re not going to take my advice by getting them an Amazon gift card, then maybe the Penguin Hotline is for you.

Click here to visit the website and get your form filled out.

Give me a Typewriter

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I’m not a big fan of collecting things. Besides books. And empty water bottles. And Smoothie King cups. But I’m REALLY not a fan of collecting older, antique type things. That isn’t to say that I’m constantly striving to get the newest and greatest toy, cause I’m not. My laptop is…five years old already. It’s bulky and I don’t take it anywhere for two reasons. It’s giant. And it’s like carrying a briefcase. Uh no. I guess that was really one reason.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that collecting things is not something I’m interested in. BUT I’m thinking I’ve never actually seen a typewriter. Ever. How can this be!? I don’t think I’d have any idea how to work it but it can’t be that hard, right? Maybe I should ask Santa for a typewriter for Christmas, although I’m wondering if I’m allowed to celebrate even though I’m not Christian or Catholic. Hm. Maybe I’ll just wait for my birthday, then. Except I just realized I have no one to ask. Not like I’m going to ask  my parents when I’m about to be 23 in a few short months. Ugh.

Oh wait! I know who I can ask. YOU! I entertain you. I mostly reply to your comments. I share a passion for books much the same as I assume you do. It’s only fair for me to want you to give me a little something in return after more than 250 posts.

I’m totally kidding. I do think it would be fun to play around with a typewriter a little bit. I mean, imagine carrying that thing into a quiet little coffee shop and typing away for a few hours. Or a Barnes and Noble. Or a library! Ha!

Have you ever had the chance to write something using a typewriter?