I often think we’ve lost the art of giving, particularly at traditional gift-giving holidays. At these times, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or Mother’s Day, we’re bombarded with imaginative ways to spend, spend, spend by a cross-section of retailers so it’s easy to get carried away and lose sight of why we give in the first place.
Surely the main point of a gift is to demonstrate you’ve thought about that person. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like much thought is involved in steadfastly working through the items on an Amazon wish list with your credit card. Plus, the best presents are always those rare gems that show you almost know a loved one more than they know themselves (not to be confused with forcing your taste on another person in a condescending fashion).
However books can do that and more. You might not always get that genuine happy face immediately as you watch someone close unwrap a book they’ve never heard of, but when you get it right they’ll be thanking you a couple of months later because books, I believe, are the gifts that genuinely keep on giving.
Here are 10 reasons to gift books:
- Choosing a book for someone is like sharing a little part of yourself, and it’s shorthand for saying I think you’re special enough to give you a glimpse of how I think.
- A really good story will last longer in someone’s heart than the latest technology fad will last in their home.
- A beautifully produced hardback edition can feel a bit too indulgent to ever buy yourself but is a real treat to find in your stocking (even if it only ever poses on your coffee table).
- For the children in your life you’re sending a clear message that books are to be valued.
- Whatever obscure hobbies your loved ones enjoy, you can guarantee you’ll find a book on it, and that book will serve as a seal of approval for those passions that make a person who they are.
- A good novel is a bit pointless if you can’t share it with someone.
- Choosing the right book for someone can take time – often a more precious resource than money.
- Books are easy to post or take on a plane if your loved ones live far away.
- The biggest compliment you can give someone is to understand them and the right book choice can show someone that you really do get them.
- You can buy most decent books for under £20.