Obviously, I’m a reader. A lot of my friends are readers. People in my family are readers. In short, I like books and people I know like books. (That actually wasn’t that much shorter…) In case you hadn’t noticed, the holiday season is upon us and with it comes gift-giving, gift-getting and the occasional stress of gift-buying. The thing is, despite all this aforementioned love for the written word, I hate buying books for people. Literary taste is such a specific and subjective thing, that no matter how much I want to share books with people, there’s always just as much of a chance that the person will hate the book as much as there is that they will love it.
It’s a shame, because for those who are so inclined, getting books is one of the nicest things—I just can’t get over my fear and indecision when it comes to picking them out for other people. Unless there’s a new book by an author I know my intended recipient loves, or I just go for a gag/coffee table/joke book, then I’m at a loss. They say you’re only supposed to give people books you yourself have read and enjoyed, but I don’t know that this actually makes it any better—awkwardness abounds if you bestow a treasured and loved tale upon someone who ends up either disliking it, or worse, feeling ambivalent about the whole thing. What if they already have the book, or have at least read it? There’s no way of knowing!
Before I pull all of my hair out distressing over this, I thought I would share this little list that I actually came across last Christmas posted on thewrittenword.com. These are perfect! Lovely little literary things that aren’t books! Look at that chandelier! That is gorgeous! And it’s pages! From a book! I don’t know how much I would like to smell like a library, but I would definitely get some kicks out of that It Was a Dark and Stormy Night board game.
There are only ten options on this list, but I know I’ve seen creative little gifts along similar lines recently, those that go beyond a journal or horrifyingly difficult to buy book. Have you gotten any great literary-themed presents in the past? Have you given any? There are still plenty of shopping days left, and I could use some options!