If you haven’t yet bought presents for everyone on your holiday list – and there is always that hard to buy for someone, consider giving a book. One of my favorite places for holiday shopping has always been the bookstore. There are dozens of good reasons for buying books as gifts. Here are just a few.
Books are passports. When you give someone a book, you give them much more than just a compilation of ink and paper. You give them a passport to a different world, keys to a whole new kingdom, and an invitation to a new way of looking at things. A sweater is just a sweater. A tie is just a tie. A book is never just a book.
Books are personal. When you give someone a book, it always has thought behind it. In a sea of a million possibilities you pick out the one book that you believe would best suit the reader – whether by interest, pastime or persuasion. It’s especially personal if it’s a book you have already read and loved and want to share.
Books don’t have to be expensive. You can spend as much or as little as you want and still have a lovely gift. Choose a lavishly illustrated travel guide to Ireland for the friends planning a trip or a paperback copy of Curious George for a grandchild. Books make great stocking stuffers. Many bookstores offer large selections of discounted books during the holiday season. Online shopping makes it even easier.
Books are for now and later. You can read it right away or save it for later. You can read it as many times as you like. And when you have finished reading the book, you haven’t used it up. It’s still there for you to enjoy again. I have a paperback set of Jane Austen novels given to me one Christmas that I’ve read too many times to count. A book is a gift that gives again and again.
If you are giving a book to a child, there are additional reasons that you’ve made a good choice. Thanks to the Canadian website. Reading Rewards, for listing them. Books don’t make loud noises. They don’t require assembly or batteries. There are no small pieces to put together and they don’t present a choking hazard. Books never come in the wrong size or color, and books are easier to wrap than footballs.
If you need ideas for book giving, stop by the library and pick-up a copy of BookPage. BookPage is a monthly magazine of recommended books for every age. The December issue includes a wealth of great gift ideas for book lovers. You’ll find a complimentary copy in the library’s lobby.
When giving a book, your options are endless. Make sure there are lots of books under the tree this year!