Tips for Gifting Books

Even in this technological age, reading is still alive and well and makes a great gift for the people you care about. Books can teach and entertain in a variety of ways and giving the right book can create a significant impact on another’s life. However, it’s hard to make a novel or nonfiction book look impressive in comparison to flashier gifts like clothes, jewelry or electronics. Here are various ways you can liven up the gift of reading.

Consider the Receiver

As with buying any gift, it’s important to consider what kind of person the gift receiver is and the kind of things they like. The preferences of a 40-something housewife compared to a teenager or an elderly gentleman are going to vary wildly.

Preferences also vary on an individual basis: A person may enjoy a scary horror novel rather than a steamy romance or suspenseful spy novel.

This applies to nonfiction as well. Give them a book about something they’re interested in; maybe they’re invested in ancient history, gardening, travel, or a variety of other subjects.

Also, make sure that your gift is age-appropriate. A child is not going to enjoy a book about a violent serial-killer and their parents won’t be too happy either.

Buy Used

Books can get expensive these days with the cost of printing, shipping, and advertising. It’s a great idea to consider buying books used. There are a variety of places to find used books such as thrift shops, secondhand bookstores or various online options. In many cases, you can find used books in great condition; some practically new or gently worn. You can also consider asking friends and family for books they no longer need. Avid readers are typically happy to have used books taken off their hands.

Set of Related Books

Instead of just giving one book, give a set of books to spice up the surprise. This is especially true for books that are part of a series.

Book Gift Basket

Gift baskets are fun to put together and you can base the basket on the theme of reading or the theme of the book. A reading-themed gift basket could contain a reading light, cozy blanket and a coffee mug alongside the book itself. Consider what gifts would be great to go along with the book’s theme; a children’s fantasy book could be gifted with stuffed toys, a toy crown or sword and other accessories related to the book.

Signed, Hardcover or First Edition

If the gift’s receiver has a favorite author a signed copy from that author would be a great gift. A fan of older literature would be enthralled by a first edition copy. Hardcover books are great for keeping a book in good condition for a long time.


You can also embrace the future and buy an e-reader for your recipient. They’re easy-to-use and hold a variety of books without taking up a lot of space. E-book companies also have ways to buy and give e-books to someone who already has an e-reader.

With this advice, you’re sure to give a memorable gift that encourages others to start reading. Those who have a real passion for books should consider earning a degree to become a librarian.


CNET (2012)

Ezine (2011)


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