Giving Books

This past weekend was 1Fam Christmas in Toronto. I gave almost everybody books. These were well received. This makes me happy. The one that was most passed around and talked through was Russian Criminal Tattoos, Vol 3. Bet you didn’t know there were three volumes of books on Russian Criminal Tattoos! Now You Know. Trust me though, most of these you don’t want to see or think about. I’m sure they make an interesting sociological study, but visually, hmm.

I often give books because I like books and I like giving things I’d be happy to receive. I also think I’m good at picking out books for people. I could be wrong, they could all be faking happiness at the books I pick out, but I don’t think so. I listen and learn what people are interested in, often they might give me a starting point or criteria for books of interest (like my RestorationArchitectBrother, who gave me tips on what books are most useful to him — they must have illustrations including floor plans and drawings, not just photographs). But mostly I listen and try to plug into things of interest. I like the challenge of finding a book that fits.

Most people don’t give me books — they say things like I don’t know what you’ve already read. Or, you have so many books, and I don’t want to give you something you already have. Or, you have too many books already. See above on what I’d be happy to receive. I did get a book from YoungestBrother — a graphic novel. I told him I didn’t have a clue where to start with those, what did he recommend?

I bought books for 1Mom for Christmas and had to guess on what she’d read and hadn’t read. I have some idea of what she likes and reads, and since she’s a book addict like me, she’s read a lot. I had to go by our conversations and picked out books that I liked a lot that I was pretty sure were enough out of her range that she’d probably not read them. I did ok with that, mostly getting things she hadn’t read. This proves that one can actually purchase books for a book-lover and get them things they’ve not read.

Do you give books? What about receiving books? Is that an acceptable gift?



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4 responses to “Giving Books

  1. Lisa

    I think books are definately an acceptable gift. I never get given books but wish I did. I like to give books, especially to children. The best book I ever gave was Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus. We are on our third reading of it in as many years. It is best read out loud and with the whole family listening!

  2. Andrea

    I love giving books, too. I give books to my nephew every year for Christmas and Birthdays mostly because I know books are expensive, and because others in the family have the toys well-covered. I’m cool with being the Auntie who gives books as gifts! Nephew is only 3 right now but I can’t wait till he gets old enough that I can give him this book:

  3. I’m always up for receiving books – if someone knows me well enough to knows exactly the sort of literature I’d enjoy, well, I’ve always said one couldn’t ask for better! But giving books, in that sense, can be tricky – you need to know exactly what the person likes, and also hope that they don’t buy that book for themselves before you can hand it off to them (made trickier, of course, by the fact that if you’re doing it right, it is genuinely something they want – likely at a price range they themselves might be willing to pay to get themselves). Hence, for most book loving friends, I tend to give them the old Amazon or B&N gift card – that way they can still get books, but without the worry of all the aforementioned.

  4. Lisa

    ok so now I feel a fraud for saying I never get given books, as I did get given a book this Christmas from my secret Santa at work. It was appropriately called One Thousand Gifts by Anne Voskamp. I love it!

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