Ever have a hard time shopping for the readers in your life? Try out some of these. They have my stamp of approval.
10: Books: It would be number one, but it’s the obvious answer, isn’t it? It’s still a good fallback for any reader. But put some thought into it. Get something that’s at least in a genre they read. Or, if you don’t know what genre(s) they read in, go for something that’s immensely popular. That’s normally a safe bet. Now, if there’s a book that you know they like, try searching online for books that other people recommend based on that book. Goodreads has that feature built in.
9: Anything other than a bookmark: Seriously. A pile of fancy rocks would be better. Readers have bookmarks. I myself must have at least twenty, and that’s after purging the ones I was willing to get rid of. But readers will pick up bookmarks anywhere and everywhere, so that’s really not what they need.
8: A new copy of a book: Find the most tattered and destroyed book your reader has on the shelf and buy a new copy for them. You won’t believe how happy it will make them, and it shows that you know them on a personal level. Win-win.
7: An old copy of a book: That’s not falling apart, of course. But, if you can find an old hardback copy, or even an old paperback copy, of a book that your reader loves…wow. Major brownie points for at least a year.
6: Ear plugs: For the thriftier among us (like moi), ear plugs are the way to go. Go to the dollar store and get a couple packs, especially if you have an easily distractible reader in your life.
5: A gift card: You must feed the reading addiction, folks. A gift card to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Hastings, or just a local book shop. Whatever it takes. And, if you were planning on buying them a new book but couldn’t decide, just go this route. I guarantee that your reader will have at least ten books that they want to read but can’t afford.
4: A signed book: Best bet here is to go for a book they already have. Extra points for you if you can snag their copy and go get it signed. But, if you have the money, a signed copy of a beloved book is absolutely wonderful. And it normally makes the author of the book feel pretty good, too, if you end up having them sign it in person.
3: Bookshelves: Any shelves, really. Anything they can put books in, really. More room is the name of the game, because more room means more books, and more books are good. Even if you’re just offering to come in with some L-brackets and put up a couple planks of wood on the wall, it will be appreciated.
2: An e-reader: This is really only for those gift-givers that are rather financially solvent, mind you. But, in the long run, it will save your reader some money. E-Books are cheaper. And this way you won’t have to see your reader friend out on the street, surrounded by stacks of books.
1: A reading day: The number one complaint I hear from readers is that they just don’t have time. Well, make them some time. Find a day when they’re off work and get rid of their significant other, take their kids for the day (or even the weekend, if you’re an extra-special friend), and tell them to read. That’s their one job is to read. Whether they do it or not is up to them, but give them the opportunity.
Any important suggestions I forgot?