Tag Archives: Gifts

The Gift of Christmas

It might come as no surprise, but books are my favourite gift to give for Christmas. It essentially started in earnest when I was working in a bookshop (inevitably, as I had discount). One of my wonderful regulars – he would come in every week and literally buy everything off the book list I’d written for him without questioning me – first suggested it. I always gave him books I had read and enjoyed, and he told me I should do the same for everyone else. So I began with The Book Thief. I have told you about The Book Thief before – the only book I’ve ever read twice in a row. So I bought a load of copies and gave it to everyone. The next year I decided to get books appropriate to each person. I chose books that fitted with their personalities, or things that reminded me of them, or books that related to a private joke we had shared. And the year after that, and the year after that, and so on. Always books – books I have read, or books I know that they would love. It’s the same when I “lend” books. With the exception of a handful of titles I can’t bear to part with, I never “lend” a book – I gift it. I don’t believe a book should be returned – its story continues elsewhere, and I believe that the person I gave it to should pass it on to someone else and them to someone else. I believe a book isn’t just a story on paper, it’s a story of its life too. A book should continue its story. Which is why I love giving books for Christmas – it’s the start of a new story.

What’s your favourite book, and where did it come from? And what book would you choose to give for Christmas?

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The Books Under the Tree

Every year, there is a big discussion in bookstores, coffee shops, online and in libraries about which are the bestsellers for Christmas. Guardian Books have listed their Best Books of 2011 and Black Friday UK are offering discounts for the Christmas Books List. Squidoo hope to navigate you through the treacherous maze that is book-buying at Christmas time.

So what is your rule of thumb for buying books for Christmas?

Do you avoid it all together, in case you get it wrong? Or do you ask exactly what they want? Could you be influenced by the book lists?

There are so many offers for Christmas in bookshops, and the influx of cartoon books, annuals, “stocking fillers”, coffee table books and celebrity memoirs create a bewildering, colour-exploding display in windows which can be terrifying to comprehend.

This year, you can choose from Alan Partridge, Lee Evans and a new Simon’s Cat book. In the world of biographies, cookery books, special editions, film accompaniments, is there really a decent “Christmas” book? And actually, does it really make a difference whether it comes out in November, or it’s been out for years?

Could you  buy someone a classic, or is it going to be a stack of the Guinness Book of World Records for all and sundry? What do you want under your Christmas tree this year?

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Filed under Booky things, Christmas