Are you giving or getting holiday books?
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I'm not giving gifts as such this year to my parents/brother/sister-in-law/nephew. I used the money I would have put towards gifts as a donation to help supply a medical clinic in Africa, and I think they will appreciate that more.
For my younger daughter (age 17) I have purchased The Devil in the White City, about the serial murderer operating at the world fair in Chicago about 100 years ago. She mentioned she'd like to read it.
On the whole, I'm not doing a lot for Christmas. My son and I (I live with my son) are going on two weeks' vacation in January in lieu of Christmas presents. I am entirely happy with that arrangement.
We give books to my nieces and nephews, who are all on my husband's side. They range from age 4 to 13. I keep a list of what I've given them and also use the tags on LibraryThing so I can consult my account when I'm in a bookstore. This year I'm giving two of the newphews Astrotwins, which is co-written by astronaut Mark Kelly, and is about a fictionalized version of him and his twin brother (Scott Kelly, also an astronaut, currently on the space station) as kids having adventures.
Anyhow, Devil in the White City is a good read, I hope she enjoys it.
Now I have a very short gift list for others, not including many (or any) books, and I usually send my husband an Amazon link or two for titles I really want to own. Most of the joy has gone out of it.
Think I'll go do some more now.
I'm always in the market for receiving bookstore gift certificates. Almost nothing beats the guilt-free pleasure of strolling through the store deciding what to spend them on. Like >3 .Monkey.: said above, I'm not about to trust anyone else to pick titles for me. They're bound to get me something I'll feel obligated to read even though I'm not actually interested. For some reason though, I don't get these certificates as often as I'd like. People seem to think "aww, he already has tons of those, I want to get him something different." No! Just, no! Different bad, books good!
My wife points out the other problem, that it's too impersonal, and this year she forced me to list some titles. So I gave her twenty to work with. Within a day she was complaining not a single one of them was in our local bookstore. No, I don't suppose they are. :)
>10 Bookmarque: Indeed, I would much rather give someone money to a place they want to shop, where they can buy that thing they've been eying but didn't want to splurge on, or couldn't afford, or whatever, rather than wasting money on something they're meh about. I mean really, how is it impersonal to care about them getting the thing they want! A little homemade something or cheap extra something (knickknack for a fav sports team or, you know, whatever their interested in) can always be included for a more personal touch, too.
ETA: Although, some years back, a friend gave a bunch of us a Tom Sharpe book each together with full instructions to swap around when read until we had consumed the whole series. Worked well.
Of course, the recipient is ME!
Just bought a slew of e-book selections. Wonderful novels by international writers, books by mid-century authors I missed reading when a teen-ager, and some classic oldies I didn't know existed. None costing more than $2.00 USD.
Honestly, I don't know that I've ever been disappointed by any book gift. But then, all my kith and kin, friends and buddies are people of exceptional good taste. Or else, I have absolutely none!
That's the marvelous and adventurous thing about literature -- one gets to "meet" new people as talent or as creations by those talents and discover an endless parade of the next new thing, even if it was published 150 years ago. And painlessly, one can love or disdain their acquaintance with no feelings hurt. It's truly a universe of words out there, too big for any one person to fully explore in a lifetime.
But I'm trying and I intend to die trying!
"But I'm trying and I intend to die trying!"
Like so many others, I look at my shelves and know it is a race against time....but a good one. :)
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Mum: getting The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
Dad: getting Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Diana (26 year old daughter): Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life by Gerald Martin
Aislinn (17 year old daughter): The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
James (23 year old son): 100 Things Packers Fans should Know & Do before they die by Rob Reischel
Will (8 year old nephew): A Treasury of Greek Mythology, although I don't remember who wrote it.
It's easy to wrap presents when they're book-shaped.