Booking through Thursday: Gifts

The question has been put forth: What books did you get for Christmas (or whichever holiday you may have celebrated last month)? Do you usually ask for books on gift-giving occasions or do you prefer to buy them yourself?

Sadly, I didn’t get any books last month. I did give two books: a cookbook to someone who specifically requested one (on pies, no less) and Law of Nines to a Terry Goodkind fan. I don’t think I’d try to give someone a book as a gift unless I knew them (and their library) fairly well. A poorly chosen book could languish on a recipient’s shelf for years before being read, if ever it was.

Likewise, I don’t usually ask for books on gift-giving occasions unless I have something specific in mind. (Such as a pie cookbook.) It would be too easy for a well meaning individual to either give me something that I’ve already read, or worse, something that they would want to read. (Oh… Twilight. You shouldn’t have.)

Not that I’d ever discourage someone from sending me a book as a gift, but there’s also a small obligation factor. The giver is going to expect that I read the book given sooner rather than later, so that I can tell them what a wonderful selection they made. (Yes… uhm… it was… a real page-turner. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I just couldn’t wait to reach the ending!)

Don’t get me wrong. I have been very pleasantly surprised by given books in the past. I certainly wouldn’t mind being pleasantly surprised again in the future.

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2 thoughts on “Booking through Thursday: Gifts”

  1. Yes, I realize I did not get any books this Christmas, either. Whereas I usually do. Almost always from my parents and usually books I have specifically requested. Although they are also reasonably good at getting me books I haven’t read that I generally like (fall within the category of something I would read).

    The only book I gave was the new John Irving book to my dad for Christmas. Besides hunting and sailing, reading is his favorite hobby and I can’t buy hunting or sailing stuff with any degree of knowing what on Earth he’d want/need in either of those categories while still being able to afford whatever it was. He had not requested that book, but while I am not a John Irving fan, I know that both my parents are. I was also pleased he had not read it yet, so he was happy to get it. Added bonus: my mom will probably read it, too.

    Since my hobby is cooking it is a safe bet that I would appreciate a cookbook, but then again, I have quite a few so if one didn’t have a pretty good idea of what I already have, I might end up with two of the same one. In fact, I believe that did happen one year.

    It’s just as well… my house is small and I have utterly run out of shelf space for books. It’s too bad, too. I adore books, even just for their own sake. But lately I find the library is extremely economical both in terms of money not spent on books I get to read anyway and in the savings of shelf space and storage.

  2. I prefer people buy me exactly the books I specify, but, then … I might as well buy them myself.

    I did get my daughter the last Twilight book (Breaking Dawn, I think it was) along with Stpehanie Meyer’s latest, “Host”. I got my son the Guiness Book of World Records so he can stop asking me “Who was the fastest …? What was the biggest …?”

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