The holidays are approaching rapidly, and it's time to start thinking about what gifts you want to give your favorite book lover.
I'm here with a few ideas that the readers in your life are sure to love! Something on this list is sure to appeal and fit within your budget.
While I'd love for you to consider something on this list, it's important as well to consider the person you're shopping for. Please, first and foremost, take the following into consideration when choosing the "right" gift for the person you're shopping for. Everyone is different, and when buying gifts, I always encourage my readers to give something that reflects the individual personality of the person you're shopping for.
Please note that this list is geared toward adult readers. Stay tuned for a list that pertains to youngsters!
Things to Consider when Choosing the Best Gift for a Reader
Before choosing a gift, you should consider carefully the type of person you're shopping for. Readers come in various forms. This guide is geared toward adults, and as adults, we vary. You should think about the following before choosing the "right" gift for birthdays or holidays.
Ask yourself the following before reading through this guide and choosing the option that you like the most.
- Do they prefer to read traditional paper books, or an e-reader device? This is an important distinction if you're considering purchasing books or a device as a gift. Many people have switched over to e-readers, but just as many prefer paper format. It may insult your recipient if you purchase an e-reader for someone who prefers to read traditional books. Keep this in mind when shopping!
- Do they enjoy reading fiction or non-fiction more? Especially if you want to consider purchasing books for your reader friends (or family!), you need to think about whether they prefer to read fiction or non-fiction. I read a lot of fiction, for example, but my husband only reads non-fiction. Once you've narrowed that down, genres may also be important.
- Are there any particular books they want to read but don't have, or have they requested something in particular? If they have a list (check their Goodreads account or their Amazon wishlist to see if they have anything special on their "to be read" list so that you can cover those first), then these should be the first things you consider buying for your reader friend. Unless they have specifically asked that you give them your favorites, stick to what they want to read.
If you'd like to purchase a book or books for your reader, these things should help. For those who prefer to read on an e-reader device, try to find out which device they already have (if they have one at all) and then purchase the appropriate gift card. Amazon gift cards in the amount of $100 make wonderful gifts for devoted readers who prefer to read on Kindle.
(Smaller amounts are nice, but please consider that Amazon only offers free shipping to Prime members or purchases over $35, so unless you're sure your recipient prefers to read on an e-reader, larger amounts are more practical because the shipping amount doesn't cut into the gift card!)
You Don't Have to Give Books
When you're thinking about giving a gift to someone who loves to read, the first thing that comes to mind is what sorts of books your loved one might enjoy receiving for their special day. It's logical, after all, that someone who loves to read would love to get books.
However, there are a few potential problems with this.
If your loved one does not have a wish list, it's hard to know what they'd like to read. Even if you know them well, the problem of whether or not they already own a copy of books on their TBR (to be read) list may arise. The last thing that you want is to give a gift that must be returned.
You want to give something special, something that will make a difference. So think about what your reader needs to make their reading experience more enjoyable.
Consider the following:
- How does she read? Again, the question of whether or not she prefers an eReader, paper books, or audio books. This may influence your decision, especially if she needs a new eReader or would like a book shelf to put her books on. Both are viable options.
- Where does he read? Does he read in bed last thing before lights out? Or does he prefer to read in the den or living room in his favorite easy chair? You may consider a book light for the nighttime reader, or a new chair (or lap blanket) for the reader who likes to tuck up on the couch.
- When does she read? Readers who enjoy reading on the ride to work may enjoy a magazine subscription, while readers who prefer to read after dinner might like to read with a cup of tea. Consider the whole picture. Many readers may enjoy a mug for coffee or tea with their book, for example.
- Why does he read? Interesting question, isn't it? But people do read for different reasons. My best friend reads for entertainment, I read for pleasure, my husband reads for knowledge. Everybody's different. So why does he read? If he reads to gain knowledge, he might enjoy something that helps him take notes, for example.
- What does she read? If she's a fan of horror novels, maybe she'd like a selection of horror movies. If she likes romance novels, maybe an album of romantic music will enhance her reading experience. What a person reads says a lot about them, and you have the opportunity to show how much attention you're paying to her.
How to Make a Wish List
Fellow Readers, I know that it can be hard to make a wish list for special days because the stack of books grows higher and higher (more than we can possibly read) and because it's sometimes difficult to remember to remove the ones that we've read from the Amazon wishlist.
I'd like to encourage you to consider everything above and to put things on your wish list that enhance your reading experience. This gives your loved ones a wider variety of options, and it prevents them from floundering when looking for the "right" book.
I personally struggle when purchasing books as gifts for friends and family, because it can be so upsetting if they don't like my selection -- it feels like a personal affront! So consider adding things to your list that are not books but which will enhance your reading experience and lifestyle.
I've made a short, informal guide to creating a holiday wish list this year. Maybe it will spark your imagination!