Why Books Make the Best Presents
Buying books for yourself might be one of life’s greatest pleasures, but buying books for someone else can sometimes be even better – and here’s why!
Books are bigger on the inside
Like the Tardis or Mary Poppins’s carpet bag, books cram a whole lot of wonderfulness into a relatively small package. What looks like a sheaf of paper and ink is really a portal into a completely different place, time and mindset – and who doesn’t love the thought of escaping from real life for a little while?
Gift anything from self-contained novels that last a day or two to year-spanning series and give your friends the chance to lose themselves in a book (as long as they promise to meet up with you and chat about it afterwards!).
They’re perfect tradition-makers
When I was young and excitable, I distracted myself while waiting for Santa by reading parts of A Christmas Carol. And once that worked one year, I did it again the next. And the next. One year, I read the whole thing. Another, I managed to pass out before the Ghost of Christmas Present showed up, but by then, it had become a tradition.
Pick seasonal storybooks to enjoy with your little ones, festive favourites that go well with a glass of mulled wine or a modern classic to spark a brand new tradition.
You can never have too many
My groaning shelves may disagree with this statement, but I stand by it: you can never have too many books. Or, if you’re thinking of the tiny flat your recipient is squeezed into – let me rephrase that – you can never READ too many books.
So even if you buy a book for someone who will pass it on to a friend or a charity shop once they’re done, the experience of reading it will always stick with them.
Books are brilliant for sharing
One of the best things about books is the fact that, although they are often savoured alone, they happen to be excellent conversation starters. Buy the books you loved (or even the ones you didn’t if you know that someone else will) this Christmas and look forward to plenty of passionate chats in the weeks to follow.
If you’re gifting books you’ve read already, be sure to stay on spoiler alert and avoid blurting out important plot lines over the figgy pudding.
There’s a book to suit everyone
Book gifts aren’t only for big readers; in fact, big readers are sometimes the hardest ones to buy for (a book token never goes amiss if you’re worried someone’s read everything, ever). Even folks who’re not big fans of cracking open a book can usually be tempted by a well-chosen biography, funny facts or specialist non-fiction title.
Find books about topics you know they’re already into and go for the kind of glossy editions that’ll stay on the coffee table and away from the shelves for as long as possible.
Image: Pile of Christmas Books by Bibliotheek Kortrijk, courtesy Flickr Creative Commons