Blog Hop: Gifting Books

book blogger hopThis week’s Book Blogger Hop question: Do you give books as gifts?

I do tend to default towards books and movies as gifts…those are typically the only things I want, and that’s what I think of giving too!  I give my parents books for Christmas frequently, and my book club does a book white elephant swap every year.  Another group of my friends also does a white elephant most years, and last year I brought a copy of Pratchett’s Hogfather to both exchanges.  Well-received at both, because my friends are awesome.

Despite all that, my instinctive response is that books can actually be a very hard thing to give.  Tastes are so particular!  Predicting what book someone would like is more challenging than I think people often believe.  (“Oh, you like fantasy, you will like any fantasy book!”  And…no.  Not really.)

I also think a downside to ebooks is that it removes the option of giving or loaning books to a friend.  I mean, yes, there are ways to still do that with ebooks, but you can’t unwrap a digital book.  And it’s more meaningful when a friend entrusts another with their own physical copy of a book.

Do you give books as gifts?  Do you struggle with finding the right one for the right person?

5 thoughts on “Blog Hop: Gifting Books

  1. A couple of months ago, I inexplicably got a book in the mail from my grandmother. It wasn’t my birthday or anything… just something she thought I’d like, I guess. I didn’t. I actually would have stopped midway through if it hadn’t been a gift from her, ha. I don’t know if it was a loan or a gift and I’m kind of afraid to ask because then she’ll ask me if I liked it and I don’t really know what to say, because if I tell her the truth she won’t take it well and if I lie, she’ll undoubtedly give me more, because it’s a part of a rather long series.

    But you know… it was a very nice and very pleasant and fun surprise to find a book in my mailbox.

    Speaking of finding books other people might like, I wonder if you take recommendations? I know you’ve probably got a long list of things to read. I read a couple of books in a series earlier this year. By Kristin Cashore. The first one is called Graceling, and the second is called Fire. I actually liked the second one more than the first, and they’re more companion novels than a chronological series (they don’t deal with the same characters and can probably be read independently), but I still would recommend Graceling first. Anyway, I think you’d like them. There’s another book in the series which I’ve yet to get to.

  2. Dennis

    Books can be great gifts, and many of the books I’ve enjoyed most are ones I’ve received as gifts. That said, one should avoid giving a book without some prior indication that it is something the receiver would like to spend time with–and, as you point out, the indication needs to be a little stronger than that the receiver is broadly interested in the genre. One more thought: books can be marvelous gifts for kids.

  3. dianem57

    I give books as gifts, but I agree it can be hard to choose the right one for the right person. You have to know their tastes. Still, it is a wonderful feeling to share a book you truly loved with someone else who you know is likely to love it, too.

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