BTT: Generosity

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question:

Do you give books as gifts?

To everyone? Or only to select people?

How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

I have always given books as gifts; one of my first thoughts when thinking about a gift is whether I can match a book to the person. Not always the easiest thing, as only my closer circle of friends and family are readers.

In the end, though, even though my first thought is always a book, I don’t end up giving books to everyone. When I gift a book, I want it to be well-loved. I want the recipient to open the package and feel absolute delight at the joys that lay ahead. Unfortunately, there are people in my life who wouldn’t necessarily feel this way about a book. And there are people on my gift list who would be internally horrified to be getting a book, even though on the outside, they respond with a smile. (That smile is often somewhat pained. My first clue, shall we say? I don’t always read people well.)

The result? There’s really just a select group of people who end up getting books from me. They include my friends Ann-Kat and Chrissie (who might be book blogging soon). Both of them are readers and we share similar tastes. My sister usually gets a cookbook as a part of her gift. My husband will get a massive number of cookbooks (as well as all sorts of kitchen things). My older son gets a couple of mysteries or science fiction books, while his much-younger brother will get a handful of well-chosen picture books. My daughter, on the other hand, is into filmmaking, not reading.

As for receiving books? I love getting a book as a gift! I do prefer, though, receiving books from people who know what I like. For example, I don’t read Christian fiction and I don’t read historical fiction (much); the year I received that Christian historical novel will stay in my memory, if only because of a strange admiration for the knack at which the giver managed to snag the two genres I don’t read and bring them together so efficiently in one book.

But in the end, I am always thankful to open up a gift to find a book, even if it’s one I probably won’t read until that day that never comes when I’ve scraped the bottom of my to-be-read pile. It means the person giving the gift does know me, and who I am. Books make up a huge part of my life, and an understanding of that means the world to me.

What about you? How do you feel about giving and receiving books? To check out what other book lovers are saying, check out Booking Through Thursday here.

5 thoughts on “BTT: Generosity

  1. Lisa

    I totally agree with your answer! I would love to be able to buy everyone books – if only they were all readers! I don’t get many books as gifts because so many of the people in my life are not readers, therefore they don’t understand my love of books. I would rather get a book than just about anything!

    Lisa’s last blog post..Musing Mondays: On The Go Reading

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  2. Matt

    I’m spending a lot of time matching books to their recipients, especially those who don’t read much. I believe there is a book for everybody. Books are very personal gifts.

    I’m a “piece of work” in terms of recipient of books. Over the years my friends have cringed from giving me books for my birthday owing to my eclectic taste. They also keep in mind that I’ve probably read some of the books they want to give me. Books do make perfect gifts, but by their very nature, books can also be a problem as tokens of affection. The delay factor is huge. Some books get a one-way ticket back to the used bookstore.

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