Do you give books as gifts?
To everyone? Or only to select people?
How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?
As much as I love books and reading, I don’t buy a lot of books specifically to give to people. I pass on books that I have read more than I buy them as gifts. I have bought books on occasion if I thought that book is specifically something the person would like or need. I used to buy a lot of books for my mother, because at the time she really enjoyed reading Stephen King novels, and it was easy to get her something that I knew she would read and like. I bought The Boxcar Children for my cousin Nia earlier this year (well actually I bought it for me and read it to her, and then gave it to her). She’s eight now, so I think it’s time to start her on the Little House books. She says she has no interest in them, but she pooh-poohed The Boxcar Children too. She’ll come around and see it my way!
In a lot of ways I think that books are personal gifts because it requires knowing someone rather well so you’re not buying them something that is just going to sit around. I like for people to enjoy my gifts! I don’t know enough about the reading habits of a lot of people that I know to feel comfortable buying them a book. I am much more in my element when asked for recommendations. My friends also seem to fall into extremes, people who love to read and who are reading all the time, and people who don’t tread so much. The people who read all the time have themselves covered and so do the people who don’t read.
I can go either way on receiving a book. On the one hand it’s a book, and I really enjoy reading so chances are I might have interest in whatever I am presented with, but usually not. Out of all the books I’m likely to love, most seem to manage to find the books that I am most likely to be indifferent to. The last book I got as a gift is a Neil Gaiman book. Now I hear great things about him and I might read him eventually and rave about him and be completely won over, but he (I think) is a science fiction and/or fantasy writer, so I haven’t yet felt compelled to read this book because I’m not a huge sci fi or fantasy person. I got the book for my last birthday, so I’ve had it a year now and I would be hard pressed to even tell you where it is or what the title might be. People usually buy you books that they love or would like to read.
What about you? Do you like giving books as gifts? What about receiving them?