Favorite Books as Gifts

The other weekend was the first Filipino Book Bloggers meet-up for the year 2011, which was also the first Flips Flipping Pages meet-up for the year, and the first one I attended with them. It’s always fun to spend time with fellow book-lovers discussing books and I liked that we discussed our best and worst reads for 2010. It just goes to show how different everyone’s choices are.

Anyway, there was a book swap after the discussion, and we were advised to bring our best or worst book for swapping with other people. Since my worst book is an electronic copy, I decided to bring a brand new copy of my best book (one of them, anyway — Feed by Mira Grant) so other people can read it. I figure if a blogger gets it, then a book about blogging (and zombies) should be in good hands, right?

I realized then that I’ve been giving books as gifts ever since I can remember. I don’t always receive books as gifts (with the exception of last Christmas and my 18th birthday — bags of books there), but I know that I always go to books whenever I’m giving gifts way back. I think that was before I really knew about the concept of gift certificates (sorry, I was way younger then and I never thought of GCs), and I always found it difficult to get clothes for someone else. If the recipient of the gift isn’t a reader, then I would resolve to getting her* pillows, stuffed toys or candles.

I find it kind of funny that I tend to give specific books as gifts, especially for people who don’t have wish lists. You know how when you spot a copy of one of your favorite books in the store, and for some reason you want to buy another copy even if you already have a copy (or multiple copies of it). It’s like, you want to buy that copy and give it to someone who you know will appreciate the book in the same way as you did. Like you’re saving the book or something. That’s how I feel, anyway. :D It’s almost like getting a pet for someone who you know will take care of that pet the way you would. Did that make sense?

I’ve been keeping count of the books that I loved and gifted/gave away to other people. So far, they are:

  • Feed by Mira Grant – 3 copies bought (1 gift and 2 for give away)
  • Paper Towns by John Green – 2 copies bought (1 gift and 1 for give away)
  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen – 1 copy as gift
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – 2 copies bought for give away
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde – 1 copy as gift
  • Naermyth by Karen Francisco – 3 copies bought (1 gift, 2 give away)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – 1 copy bought for give away
  • Tall Story by Candy Gourlay – 1 copy as gift
  • Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti – 1 copy as gift

Most of those books are my favorites, or if they aren’t in my list, they’re books with good reviews. I find it funny that I have bought so many copies of Feed and Naermyth and Paper Towns – promoting much?

What about you? Do you have specific books that you give as a default gift? How many copies of your favorite books have you bought as gifts for friends or for giveaway?

* I say “her” because it’s very hard to shop for some guy friends who are not readers. It’s not like you can give them something generic like bathroom faucets or something. Anyone who agree with this, say aye!

10 Thoughts on “Favorite Books as Gifts

  1. I’ve given away the Queen’s Thief books by Megan Whalen Turner on the blog and I’ve also given it as a gift several times. Whenever I see the books, I want to grab copies because I know they’re not that easy to find. I’m actually already thinking of what book to bring for our book swap in March. :) Other books that I’ve given as gifts: Going Too Far, Garden Spells, Julie James’ books, Crown Duel, The Goose Girl and books from my friends’ wishlists. My college friends and I already have a rule that we should provide wishlists for our birthdays to make it easier for others to buy gifts and we usually have gifts on our lists and of course, Fully Booked GCs.

    • My friends aren’t as big readers as I am, so I resort to other gifts for them. I’m kind of glad my best friend set a goal to read 150 books this year (heh, that’s even more than I read last year) so it would be easy to give him a gift for his birthday and Christmas. :P

      And I know about seeing rare copies and wanting to get them — I always get that feeling when I see Feed or Paper Towns. Then I try to figure out who needs a copy of it but end up not getting it anyway. I just really hope whoever gets them would read and like them as much as I did. :)

  2. I understand what you mean about giving specific books instead of GC’s. :D I haven’t kept count of the number of books I’ve given away as a present, especially when I think of my best friends who are fellow bookworms (and some of whom I’ve been friends with for more than twenty years)! It’s also nice to challenge myself to think of a title/author that a particular friend will like. I have a friend who likes reading Nick Hornby so for his birthday I got him something by Mike Gayle. Another one who likes horror stories got a copy of The Historian. I think shopping for books to give away is one of the things I look enjoy during the holidays. :)

    • That’s a good idea, getting authors from the same genre. Or novels with the same themes. I find that it’s really easy to look for books as gifts, but that is probably because I can spend an entire day in a book store and not be bored. :D

  3. I wish my friends and family are are bookworms because I agree with you that its hard to look for clothes as gifts; with books, you don’t have to worry about the size besides I would thoroughly enjoy book shopping ^^. I recently vowed to give nothing but books on special occasions to my niece and nephew (to the dismay of my sister who wants clothes so as she won’t have to buy them herself, and my nephew and niece who want toys all the time ^^) in the hopes that they would develop a reading habit . Book gifting is an excellent means to help kids acquire the love for reading, a little harder for adults though. :P

    • My non-book club friends and family don’t give me books as gifts too. That’s why I ask other stuff from them instead. Thank goodness for my Goodreads friends — they make my book wish lists happy.

      I only have two god children right now and so far I’ve given them books every year for Christmas and their birthdays. I want to be known as the godmother who gives books, haha. When I have a niece or nephew, I will probably do that, too. :)

  4. Sometimes I end up giving away a book because I buy one only to find out when I get home that I already have a copy. Senior moments are good opportunities to share books.

    • Hi Gege! Hm, I haven’t gotten to that point yet. My TBR is still pretty manageable (at least compared to other people I know), so I still remember the books I bought enough not to get duplicates. :)

  5. I have never received a book as a gift although they do know that I love reading. Maybe it’s because it’s hard for a non-reader to pick a book for a reader. They’d either fear I won’t like it or I already have it. Yes, I don’t have a lot of real life friends who love reading books as much as I do. So I always get clothes which isn’t too bad seeing as I hate buying them myself. :P

    Last Christmas was the first time I gifted someone a book. I bought my officemate a boxed set of Hunger Games. As far as I know, she hasn’t even started reading it yet. :'(

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So, what do you think?

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