Shannon Stacey


Buying books as gifts…or not

It’s the time of year when people starting talking about books as Christmas gifts, such as this post on RTB. And I remember last year there was a big movement urging people to help save the book industry by buying books as holiday presents.

I don’t really get it. How do you buy people books for Christmas?

(I know at least one of you just thought you go to the bookstore and give them money and they give you a book. Smartass.)

So far this year, I’ve bought one book: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. It’s a gamble, because TK does not like having books chosen for him, but steampunk with zombies? I read a couple of reviews and I think it’ll be a win. But to be honest, he’s been talking about steampunk and I remembered reading about this book and decided to order it for him. It was only after I ordered it I realized it was close enough to Christmas so I should save it and put it under the tree.

And if a toddler’s on my Christmas list, I’m totally throwing Sandra Boynton books that kid’s way because my love for her board books is eternal.

Other than that, I’m stumped.

Take my sisters…please. (okay, that was a joke). #1 is the mother of four boys eight and under, so she doesn’t have a lot of leisure time, though she did just cave to the pressure of family and friends and plow through the entire Outlander series. But I think she and I have pretty different reading tastes. I think she likes Oprah books, but I’m not sure. #2 reads voraciously and I know a couple of authors she likes, but I don’t know which books she’s read. #3 reads a lot, too, but I’m not sure what. She used to read the American Girls books, and I know she just read the Twilight saga. But with #’s 2 and 3, there’s also balancing what’s on the market for their age groups (21 & 14) and their church and Christian school upbringing. I have no freakin’ idea what I’d buy for them.

I know my mother and I used to have similar reading tastes but, other than the Outlander series, I’m not sure that we still do. I don’t know if her becoming a Jehovah’s Witness a while back has changed what she reads. Although, now that I think about it, I don’t really have to worry about what book I’d get her for Christmas, do I?

Anyway. My stepmother? She might be into short, sweet category romances. My grandmother likes Debbie Macomber and others like her. No idea what she’s read, so unless a new DM came out on Dec 24th, I wouldn’t have a clue.

And so on and so forth.

It just stumps me. And the idea of any of my family members trying to buy a book for me is hilarious. Even my husband couldn’t walk into Borders and pick out a book I’d want for Christmas.

So are any of you giving books for Christmas? How do you figure out what to buy?

10 comments to “Buying books as gifts…or not”

  1. Keishon
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    1
      · November 30th, 2009 at 10:50 am · Link

    I rarely if ever buy anyone books for Christmas. I just get my book readers a GC to B&N and let them have at it. I only buy books for people who I know are reading a series and I know they don’t have the next book in the series but that is rare. No one can buy me books for Christmas as I am very picky and no one does. The last book I got for Christmas was several years back and what was given to me was a Danielle Steele book (gag)



  2. Charlene
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    2
      · November 30th, 2009 at 10:53 am · Link

    Book store gift cards are your friend. :mrgreen: Seriously, how else can you be sure your booklover hasn’t already read that title? But bookaholics always need more.



  3. Alison Kent
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    3
      · November 30th, 2009 at 11:58 am · Link

    My people have Amazon wish lists of books they want. Also, cookbooks. There was a big discussion about buying for age groups on one of my author lists recently, sports, chess, etc., things people are into that aren’t fiction.



  4. Shannon
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    4
      · November 30th, 2009 at 12:07 pm · Link

    I’d love for all my people to have Amazon wish lists. Sadly, they don’t. (Most of them probably couldn’t find Amazon.) A Christmas registry would definitely help.

    And I’m willing to bet I’d get a Danielle Steel book, too. People who don’t read romance who try to think romance think Danielle Steel. That would be a hard big smile and “gee, I love it” to pull off.

    I have this hang-up about giving gift cards. I know they’re practical, but I want fun and immediacy (is that even a word?) in Christmas gifts. To me, gift cards are like getting a toy with no battery. You’ve got the toy and you know you’re going to get to play with the toy, but on this day—with nothing to do but play with gifts—all you can do is look at it and imagine how fun it’ll be when you finally get to play with it.



  5. Keishon
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    5
      · November 30th, 2009 at 2:03 pm · Link

    I have this hang-up about giving gift cards. I know they’re practical, but I want fun and immediacy (is that even a word?) in Christmas gifts. To me, gift cards are like getting a toy with no battery. You’ve got the toy and you know you’re going to get to play with the toy, but on this day—with nothing to do but play with gifts—all you can do is look at it and imagine how fun it’ll be when you finally get to play with it.

    *******************
    very good point but I wouldn’t just gift them only with a gift card, tsk, tsk *snickering* Even though I would love to do just that and be done. Just call me lazy. That should be my motto.



  6. Rhonda
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    6
      · November 30th, 2009 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Maybe it’s because I often give books as gifts, but the readers in my family tend to tell me several books they want as the holidays approach or tell me what they have read recently – SIL and niece both named books this year – when I asked for gift ideas.

    Dh has an aunt who collects certain authors but rarely gets them when they first come out – so I’m normally safe there. Cookbooks are easy for the one co-worker I exchange gifts with. I sometimes buy books for – my brother and one other family member who read similiar authors/genres so I ask them for recommendtions for the other. I have a friend I have guessed based on the fact she reads and loves one author – (she sticks to just the one normally) but I have bought her books for the past few years – picking similiar voices – and she’s loved them and expanded her reading. My MIL likes to read – but only reads if I buy her books or I lend her (and I know what she likes, lol).

    The one I always want to buy books for as a gift – but have a hard time is the oldest girl – I have one picked out but I have not clicked it yet, lol.

    After my MIL gave me a few strange ones over the years, I now tell her specfic titles!



  7. Patti
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    7
      · November 30th, 2009 at 11:19 pm · Link

    Love to give and receive books for Christmas…non-fiction is the key. I think when the right one is chosen it lets that person know that you really “get them”. My guys give me decorating books and I give them whatever they’re into that year, i.e. hubby will be getting deer bow hunting books on 12/25 and in the past my older son has really enjoyed some sports “coffee table” books with big pictures that he reads while eating when I won’t allow the TV to be on.



  8. Patti
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    8
      · November 30th, 2009 at 11:23 pm · Link

    The best part about books is that the recipient is likely to have them around a lot longer than any toy or clothing and you can put in an inscription for them to have a memory of you…or your autograph! If you are a famous author like Shannon Stacey! ;-)



  9. Shannon
    Comment
    9
      · December 1st, 2009 at 10:36 am · Link

    If you are a famous author like Shannon Stacey!

    :lol:

    I wish. But it’s nice to see I’ve got my family believing it. :smile:



  10. Annmarie
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    10
      · December 1st, 2009 at 11:16 am · Link

    I get gift cards to Amazon, Borders & BAM. I love those gift givers oh so much. I highly recommend gift cards for book lovers.

    As a child, my first ‘big girl book’ was given to me at Christmas by my Aunt Jackie. It made a huge impact on my development. I always give my nieces books now. I ask their step-mimi what to buy.







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