Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion. It is currently hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits. The meme encourages participants to discuss a new topic each week and visit each other’s posts to keep the conversation going.
Prompt: Do books make good gifts? Do you ever give or receive books as gifts? Would you rather receive a book from your wish list or be surprised? What would you do if you didn’t like the book you were given? Would you expect someone to read a book you got them right away?
Books make great gifts! I love giving people books because I feel like they serve many purposes, such as being entertaining and educational while preventing the world from being filled with more junk like plastic toys kids will use once and forget, or novelty items the recipient will end up throwing away. Even if the recipient does not want the book, they can easily donate it or, at the very least, recycle it. And books can be enjoyable even for people who describe themselves as “non-readers.” I’ve gifted nonfiction, cookbooks, coloring books, and puzzle books, for instance, to people who would say that they don’t read. They often do read–just not 800-page fantasy books, or whatever it is they imagine “real readers” read.
Because I love books, people often do gift me books–and the more the better, I say! I like receiving books for the same reasons I like giving them. I don’t really want more novelty items or knickknacks in my life. But since I am particular about what I like to read and what I want to devote space to, I would prefer that people gift me books I have expressed interest in–if only because there is possibly only one person who routinely manages to buy me books I actually enjoy. The others seem to gift me books they would like, but that aren’t my taste at all. But it’s not a big deal, and it’s the thought that counts. If I don’t like the book I was gifted, it is really easy for me to donate it to the library so they can sell it at their book sale and raise funds. Or, if it’s a children’s book, I can usually give it to one of my teacher friends for their classroom libraries, which they tend to have to stock themselves. I don’t feel guilty about this because I firmly believe that books are meant to be shared, and they are not doing much good sitting on my shelf unread.
Since I don’t always enjoy the books I am gifted, I am sensitive to the reality that the recipients of my books might not always like them, either. So my policy is generally never to inquire about the book once it has left my hands. There are some books I have gifted that I know have never been read at all. Others I later learned the recipient did not enjoy. But the same thing could happen with any gift, book or not. I just don’t ask and everyone can maintain the polite fiction that the book was read and enjoyed. Thus are friendships maintained.
Do you like to gift books?