Books as Gifts (Let’s Talk Bookish)

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?

Star Divider

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?

6 thoughts on “Books as Gifts (Let’s Talk Bookish)

  1. Rosie Amber says:

    This is tricky, I’ve gifted books to others in the past, them found that they didn’t read or didn’t like them. I also pass on pre-loved books, which seem to be enjoyed on the whole.

    Some books gifted to me I enjoy, but I often ask closest family to give me a book voucher, so that I can get the books that I really want. Often they are reluctant to get me books from my wish list as they think that I have too many books!

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    • Krysta says:

      Yes, it is super tricky! But I never know what to get people at all, so I figure there’s also a chance they wouldn’t like any non-book item I gift! Perhaps gift cards are the way to go.

      Isn’t it funny how people decide that you have too many books? I’ve had people tell me the same thing. “Oh, I didn’t get you any books because you already have a bunch.” I’ll decide when I have too many books, thank you! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies says:

    I do like to gift books, but only if I feel really sure they’ll be appreciated. My daughter and I give each other books as gifts all the time, but we talk about books constantly so we have a really good sense of what the other will want to read! Otherwise, I’m pretty cautious when it comes to giving fiction as gifts, but tend to have less apprehension when it comes to non-fiction or art/coffee table books, assuming I know the subject aligns with their tastes. (I love getting books as gifts, but I’m probably difficult to buy for!!)

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    • Krysta says:

      Yes, it really helps to have someone who knows your tastes! I have one good friend who is good at buying me books. The rest are very hit or miss! But they’re no worse than some of the non-book gifts I’ve received, lol!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ofmariaantonia says:

    Books were always the best gifts for me when I was growing up! Yes, I’ve gotten books that I ultimately didn’t care for. But like you said, it’s easy to pass along. (I do like the idea of not inquiring about a book, just in case!)

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    • Krysta says:

      I LOVED books growing up and they were always the thing I looked forward to most! Even books I didn’t love were appreciated because, when you’re a kid, it’s not easy to go to the library or the store to get your own books. So books as gifts were great!

      Liked by 1 person

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