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April 2017

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Gift books

We've just gone through a major gift-giving season, and I started musing on the different types of gift books that we give and receive. And so I give you this list:

I bought this book for you because ...

It was on your list.
I know you love this author.
I think you have some interest in the topic, kind of, maybe? At least I think I heard you mention it once?
I had no idea what else to buy you.
I loved this book and I want everyone I know to read it.
I loved this book and hope we can talk about it.
I want to convert you to this religion/diet/self-help school of thought/political party.
The pictures are pretty.
I didn't know you already had it.
It's good for a laugh.
It's a classic.
I saw it mentioned on TV.
It was easy to wrap.
Everyone seems to be reading this book.
It has major significance for us, being a book that: we both love / we discussed on our first date / we both wrote our theses on / was written by our dad ... 
I thought of you when I read it.


My mother complained to me that my father stayed up too late at night to read the six book series I had given him for Christmas.

The conspiracy of book-lovers!
No. 5 is one of my top reasons for buying books as gifts.
Spreading the love!
A few years ago, my mom gave me a set of the NYT top ten books of the year. Such fantastic & varied reading. It was the best gift ever, me being that unusual woman who'd rather receive a new book than a new bangle :)
A good book-gift really stays with you, doesn't it? A few years ago, my husband bought me EX LIBRIS by Anne Fadiman--my first exposure to her work. It turned out to be perfect for me.
I confess, I pretty much always only buy my husband books from his list, because he and I have such wildly different tastes that I wouldn't have the first clue what he might like otherwise. That said, I've jsut bough him a lovely bindup of 'Treasure Island' and 'Kidnapped' for his birthday, which I hope he'll like ...
I'm the same way with my husband. He reads science fiction, and he's also read so much of it that it's rare I would be able to find something he would want that he didn't already have.