Let’s Talk: Do you give books as gifts? How do you choose which ones?


With it being December and all, I decided to make this week’s discussion a li’l bit more festive, just to get us into the Christmas spirit even more.

So with us here being bookworms, it’s probably no surprise to us if we get books as a gift. It’s the go to option and we love them.

But do you give books as a gift…and if you do, how do you choose which ones?


Personally, I think giving books as gifts is such a wonderful thing to do. Of course, I’m completely bias towards them. But you have to admit, the perks are there.

1. It’s a book. It’s great.

2. You can find a book for any age & personality.

3. There’s some gorgeous editions of books out there that somehow look more gifty than a normal book.

4. They’re easy to wrap

5. You can buy them your favourite and watch as they slowly fall in love too and you can fangirl forevermore (or, alternatively, watch as they don’t actually like it and feel like you’re burning internally. But we’ll forget that option).

But then of course there’s the…downsides, so to speak.

1. Not everybody likes books and it might just end up sitting around lonely.

2. They might not like the book.

3. They might already have the book.


It’s a hard thing to balance, let’s be honest.


Yes, I do. Every single year I find myself giving books to somebody as a gift. Though really, that’s because quite a few of my friends DO like reading. This year I actually have quite a large pile of books waiting to be wrapped, because I went a bit overboard and got people multiple books. BECAUSE WHY NOT?

Y’know, apart from all the reasons listed above. Shhhh.

HOWEVER. Like I just said, I give books because the people I buy for like books. I know quite a lot of people don’t have friends who like reading as much as we all do here, so even though the option is there, often enough it’s not really the best idea.


This is actually the difficult part.

You have a friend/family member who likes books…but what to get them? There so many choices out there, and somehow you have to choose one they’re going to like. And haven’t already read. Plus there’s the risk that if you get a book they’ve mentioned wanting before, someone else will get it them too. And if you’re wanting to keep it a surprise, the best you can do is guess.


Really, I don’t bother guessing anymore. I’ve worked out a system sort of thing between my friends. I’ll try to explain it best I can.

Basically, what I do is get the person to write a list of 5 books they want. Once they’ve written this list, they’re not allowed to buy them for themselves or tell anyone else they want them. Then from this list, I’ll choose however many I want to buy – it’s usually 2 or 3. That way, I’ll get books they actually want, and they still don’t know which ones they’re getting, so it remains a surprise.

Although to be honest we all end up telling each other anyway because we get confused at who’s buying what, so nevermind. But the theory works, I assure you.

So now it’s your part!

Do you give books as gifts? Is there someone who you give books to every year?

Do you think they’re a good idea for a gift, or does it depend on the person?

How do you choose which books to get? Do you guess? Listen out for things they mention? Or just ask them what they want?

Join the discussion in the comments!

Until next time…


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41 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Do you give books as gifts? How do you choose which ones?

  1. Great post! I only recently started giving books as gifts, because most of my family and friends don’t read. So, I don’t really see much point wasting my money if I know they won’t read it. However, one of my close friends has a little one who has just turned one and I bought some books for both his birthday and his Christmas and I’m thinking I’ll just carry this on as he grows up. In fact, I think I might just buy all future children in my family books and turn them into my little reading minions haha!

    Lauren @ My Expanding Bookshelf

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lot of my friends and family don’t read, but I do love the idea of giving books as gifts. I would totally do it. And without even knowing what they want. I would just pair them up with a book I think they’d love. I don’t think many of them would read it though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a shame you don’t get the chance to do that then! I’m so bad at making decisions and worrying they won’t like the book I choose, so I’d be much better just asking them aha 😆


      1. There’s nothing wrong with asking them – I’m sure they’d much rather have something they want! Maybe I just like to think I’m so insightful and I know people better than they know themselves, but really they’re like ‘what’s this crap’ haha 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely post! Unfortunately, hardly no one around me (family and friends) read books. So giving books as gifts is something I don’t really do. My cousin is the only other reader around me, so I do occasionally give her a book as a gift. But in the form of a gift card so she can go to the bookstore and pick it out herself. But that’s it! She’s the only reader I know in real life! Crazy, I know…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      Ooooh getting a gift card is a great idea 🙂 If I didn’t know what to get and didn’t mind giving a card, that’d probably be y go to option too! Plus it always feels great when you can get books for free when shopping 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post! I love giving books as gift, but only to people who actually read. I used to give books to everyone and then they wouldn’t read them so I realized books are great gifts, but not for everyone. Non-readers were peobably not happy when were gifted with books.
    As for choosing a book, I usually go with the guts and buy what I think the person will like. I never ask for a list tbh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, if the person doesn’t read then it’s definitely not a great gift. The opinions very quickly change!
      I’d go with my gut instinct too if I could, but my friends tend to own as many books as I do so it’s hard keeping track of which books they already own. And with how early I buy them, there won’t be any chance to return them or exchange them either. So a list is great for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooh, that’s a really good system to get books for people! I know I always stress about getting someone a book they already have, so I’ll definitely be doing it this year! ❤
    I also never really thought about gifty versions of books – thinking about it now, I might gift someone an illustrated edition of a HP book~! 😀 Those are absolutely gorgeous.
    Thank you for the great tips in this gift-giving season!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This year is actually the first year that I’m giving someone a book as a gift! My mom has always liked reading but for the past few years, hasn’t been reading much. But over the summer she was trying to get back into it so I decided to try to find a book to give her. It’s so hard trying to decide which book, though! I know that she loves Bernard Cornwell though so I ended up searching for recommendations, sort of those “books to read if you like X” lists, and ended up choosing that way. Since she hasn’t been reading that much, I don’t really have to worry about her having the book or having read it, thankfully. I’m still nervous to see whether she’ll like it. 😀 Oh, and I bought my older brother a book as well. It’s a book of recommendations for craft breweries in New England because that’s where we live and he loves beer so that was a pretty easy choice haha Books really are great gifts to give! It’s an added bonus that they’re super easy to wrap since my wrapping skills are pretty non-existent hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love to give books as gifts, it definitely depends on the person though. My older 2 brothers never read so unless they say ‘Hannah I definitely want this book’ (it happened once with the Alex Ferguson one) I steer clear. I buy my mum books sometimes and my sister definitely, shes older than me and I have her on goodreads so I can keep track of what she’s into but also because we live together I know what books she has. I bought her two for her birthday today actually:)
    I think giving a book is so great because it’s like giving this person a whole new world to explore, imagine the joy if they truly loved it. Like ‘I did that’ haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww that’s so handy that you have her on Goodreads 😀 I bought a friend of mine a book for her birthday recently too, so I definitely fall under the “buys books as gifts” category (I’m pretty sure it’s my most used gift to be honest).
      And I get what you mean with the “I did that” moment. Seeing someone love something you gave them is so great!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this post ❤ I also suffer from lack of friends and family who read enough for me to gift books. I certainly want to! This year I do have a special edition of a certain title put back for one very close friend 🙂 So I am excited to be actually gifting a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I’m glad you get to give a book for once! Especially if it’s a special edition, they always feel more gifty somehow, especially since people wouldn’t commonly buy themselves special editions (though that may just be me aha) 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t celebrate Christmas to book-giving occasion usually just happens during birthday and I have to admit that I rarely ever buy people books! Which is weird because I’m a huge bookworm myself haha but I find it easier to buy them something else. My close friends are generally readers but they don’t read as much as I do, so I find it not so difficult to decide which books to give, esp because we love the same genre and they always ask me for recommendations. So I usually just get them my favorite 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I give books, but not very often. My family and friends read, but not heaps. I’ll only get them a book if there’s one I know they’ve been meaning to grab but haven’t for whatever reason. I feel like it’s too risky picking something random, unless it’s by an author or on a subject/theme/time period I know they love.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My friends unfortunately don’t read 😦 but I do send out some books to my internet friends. I’m not doing that this year though. So, no, I usually don’t gift books. I wish I could.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t usually get as many as I have done this year, I just saved money for months (I put myself in a 3 month book buying ban) so that’s why I went a bit overboard on gifts this year ahaha 😆


  12. I give books to my niece and nephew every year for Christmas. They are both big time readers and are always coming to me for book recommendations, so I have learned their likes and dislikes when it comes to books. I think gifting books to kids is MUCH easier than adults.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great discussion! A few years ago, for my mom and sisters, I actually did a thing where I only gifted books. I know them so well since we share books that it wasn’t hard to buy for them. However, one of my sisters hasn’t even touched the books I gave her so boo on that 😂. In theory, I love giving books as gifts just because I find it exciting but I think it really depends on the person. I don’t know any readers outside of my family so I don’t get to give books very often and wish I could more. Although, I love donating books during the holidays. There are a few bookstores around me that if you buy a book they gift one or give you the option to gift one. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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