If you’re like me, it’s time to get moving on your last minute holiday shopping.
And buying a gift for a friend is a balancing act; you want it to be a personalized and thoughtful nod to the history you have shared. It needs to demonstrate how intimately you know the recipient (no pressure, right?).
Finding that perfect gift can be an adrenaline rush. Call me nostalgic, but gift cards often lack that personal touch. I dream of watching my loved ones’ faces light up as they unwrap their gift; it’s magic.
Share a lit(erary) experience. Give a book.
But how do you pick the perfect book, you ask.
Here are some of our go-to tips when trying to find that perfect book:
- Snoop, if you can. Peruse their shelf and see what they have read in the past. Recurring genre or author?—explore those deeper in your shopping. Look for worn spines and the books prestigiously kept on their side table, these are signs of literary love
- Consider their activities and hobbies. Are they the future 2020 president or an avid yogi, reflect on getting a title that lies within those spheres
- Passionate or average reader? How familiar they are with the vast literary world? For the reading fiend, go with a hard hitting emotional title or a challenging, yet rewarding, read. Trying to light a fire of passion for books? Go with an instantly gratifying read, consider a best sellers list. Or, gift the first book of a series—preferably, a book with a massive cliffhanger (my personal favorite gift trick).
- Don’t lose yourself in the book buying process—hard, I know. Fight the urge to buy your favorite book for all of your loved ones and entirely forgetting what they might want. Just because Dave Eggers has the ability to melt my soul doesn’t mean my dad would have the same reaction. Give the book they would want.
- Ask for help. Still lost? Go to the experts. No one is more aware of what is available in the store than the employees. Give them some information on your recipient and ask for their opinion. They might remember stocking a shelf with the book that’s right up your friend’s ally. (If you’re an online shopper, ask a fellow book worm or find a book recommendation list)
If you walk into a bookstore or browse online, the number of possibilities can seem endless. But these tips can help you find the right book, making the special person in your life will feel as if a puzzle piece is falling into place as they start to read.
A book can open a new world or way of thinking; I don’t believe there is a better gift out there. Use this holiday season to stretch the imagination of those around you.