Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Discussion: Books for Christmas

20 comments
I love books. (I better for all the time I devote to reading and blogging about them.) But I have mixed feelings about getting books for Christmas. More specifically, I have mixed feelings about other people buying books for the express purpose of giving them to me.
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I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way, but when someone has specifically picked a book for me and spent money on it (especially list price), I feel absolutely AWFUL if I don't like it. It's like that person just wasted $5-$20. Now, let's be honest, a good number of the books I buy turn out to be "okay" or bombs. But it's different when I wasted money on a bad book as opposed to someone else wasting money on a bad book because he/she thought I would like it. Does that make sense?

My other issue with people buying me books at Christmas is that I always fear they overpaid. I know this is a little ridiculous. If they're not worried about it, why should I be? But I am. And then I feel doubly worse if I wind up hating a book they spent $20 on when I could have wasted $2 instead. :(

The good news is, most of the friends/family who are aware of my reading addiction habit know that I buy most of the books I'm interested in and prefer to do so myself. Happily, I'm in a position where I can do that. (That will change if law school happens. :P ) This also makes gift cards a perfectly acceptable and reasonable response when family asks me what I want for Christmas. And a perfectly acceptable and reasonable gift to get someone else. ;)

Side note: In the event I like the gifted book, none of the above is applicable. :)

What about you guys? Does anyone else have Christmas book giving/getting anxieties?

20 comments :

  1. I have never had that happen; books that they don't know I like? Weird. My grandma used to do that with music though, strange tapes.

    My wife doesn't know what to buy me for Christmas anymore though since I started blogging; she used to rely on books and now I have many of the ones she would have considered already.

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    1. That's good that you've only gotten good books! I've found that even some books I'm excited about and sure I'll like don't work for me, so the anxiety remains. ^^;

      An overabundance of books sounds like a good problem, even if it does make your wife's Christmas shopping a little harder. :)

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  2. The only reason I don't like people buying me books for Christmas is 1)I probably already own it, and 2)they might not get it in hardcover, and then I have to pretend that I'm not thinking, "This is awesome! But. . . .I hate paperbacks!" I don't tend to feel guilty if I dislike the book they got me or if they paid too much, 'cause I didn't force them to buy it for me (but on the other hand, if the person who bought it for me absolutely loves the book and can't wait for me to read it, and I hate it, I always hate that). Thankfully, like you, the people who buy me gifts know me well enough to know to either 1)ask if I have the book and then command me to forget (and I'm good at that), or 2)get me gift certificates to book stores. And I love gift certificates! :)

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    1. I didn't even think about hardcover versus paperback, but I can see that being an issue if you specifically collect one or the other. Oh, that reminds me...I still have a book sitting on my shelf a friend gave me to try because he loved it. >.>

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  3. Folks used to buy me books for xmas and birthdays but now they know that I mostly receive books from publishers and the ones i don't get I usually buy for myself (or I put them on my wishlist) so they can always look at my wishlist for ones I haven't immediately bought - but then those ones likely never end up read because there are so many more books before them.

    I do NOT like it when people pick books for me THEY THINK I'll like because they are almost always wrong. When other people I now recommend books to me again I really don't ever read them because so many of them read best sellers in the fiction genre or Oprah book club picks or books they see in a magazine meaning they almost always are not fantasy or science fiction and I just don't have interest in books outside my preferred genre.

    Now a days I ask for craft store gift cards or I ask folks to look at my wishlist where I place supplies that I really want for my hobbies that aren't reading.

    So I do feel your pain on the books. I am however not ashamed to ask for receipts so I can return them and get store credit to buy something I would read instead.

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    1. Yeah, picking up a book from a genre you don't read doesn't make a lot of sense. Not that there aren't exceptions to every rule, but for a Christmas/birthday gift? I don't like the odds on that. Directing their good shopping intentions toward other hobbies is a great idea! And you are seriously brave to ask for receipts. I always feel horrific asking, even when the person has already mentioned keeping it just in case.

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  4. I love getting books as gifts! *giggles like a kid in a candy store* Most people usually ask me for ideas for birthday or Christmas gifts, so I give them specific titles I'm looking for. Unless they know my tastes reeeeeallllyyyy well (and only my closest friends do), they'll pick up what I ask for, not something they hope or assume I'll like.

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    1. That's a good method! Especially if the books you think you'll like have a high success rate. And good friends for asking! :)

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  5. For Christmas I send my main Amazon Wish List out to my family and I just throw some of the books from my book list on there, that way they know specifically what titles I'm wantin :)

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    1. That's not a bad idea! Although I'm still a little amazed that no one has my paranoia about not liking a book, especially one you specifically request. Maybe I've been burned too many times by books that look like my thing on paper but then don't pan out?

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  6. Even if I get a book I end up not liking, at least a got a book :) No one ever buys me books, so I think I would just be happy to get one! I have received gift cards for bookstores before but it just doesn't feel as personal to me. Hmm...maybe I need to sent this comment to my husband... :D

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    1. No one buys you books? Hmm...maybe they're more afraid of you not liking it than you are? I know gift cards are technically impersonal, but I love them. Then I get to wait for a sale and do the math and get as many books as possible for a little bit of money! Yeah, book shopping is like a challenge for me. ;)

      I'd say just tell the husband you want books this year. Point him to your Goodreads list if he needs ideas, right? :)

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  7. I tend to feel a little bad if a book someone buys me ends up being one I didn't like. However, it also depends. Since I have a wishlist, and I give out the link to said wishlist to all family members and friends who I think are likely to buy me stuff, if they buy me something NOT on said wishlist, I feel less bad about not liking whatever the book was.

    I kind of feel like, if they couldn't find a single book on my nearly 300 book wishlist, then they obviously weren't actually trying. Since very few are out of print, and I'll read ebook or print copies, getting a book that isn't on that list or is from an author I've never heard of (or whom I haven't liked in the past) makes me think they didn't really care enough. That they were more "Oh she likes books, let's just grab this one!"

    I do like getting gift cards, but even then most times I get ones that are harder to use. I'm on an island, no actual book stores (except a used one) here unless I want to drive 30min or more. So I tend to ask for Amazon gift cards as I have Prime and will thus be able to get books fast. And I always end up getting gift cards to B & N, or Borders, or some other random book store that isn't near me and takes forever to ship. *laughs*

    I'm grateful to have gotten anything of course, it just seems most years like my family tends to forget and then scramble for a "just grab something" gift. I'm sure it's not actually true, but when your lists are ignored it sure feels that way.

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    1. Wishlists can definitely be helpful! Especially when they're that long, so there's still an element of surprise when you get a book from it.

      Island living, huh? Yeah, I can see that putting a damper on in-person book shopping. I live an hour inland and I still have to drive 20-30 minutes to hit anything, haha. Just goes to show you can find the middle of nowhere anywhere, right? :D

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  8. I love this topic! I was at first requesting only books for holidays, but then I got all the presents that I was expecting and realized that I like being surprised by presents and books are not something I really want to be surprised about since I probably have already decided whether or not I want to read a book if it is new >.> Also I always worry that if people just pick something, I'll have already read it or already own it <.<. But mostly I feel bad when I don't get to reading it right away D: I have books that the boy gave me for our first x-mas that I STILL HAVEN'T READ! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME???

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    1. Yep, I understand, Anya. If I'm getting gifts, I do like a little surprise, but not necessarily with books. I know I have at least one book on my shelf from a Christmas or two ago that I still haven't read. >.>

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  9. I don't like getting books as gifts unless the person knows what they're doing, like last year when my husband spent a lot of time going through my Amazon and Goodreads accounts and figuring out what I already had and what I still wanted. He also knew that I prefer reading on my Kindle and bought those instead of physical copies. I give away almost all physical copies of books when I'm done reading them, so buying me a physical copy that I'm just going to get rid of soon makes me feel guilty.

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    1. Aww, it sounds like your husband is a super thoughtful guy! I know someone like you who gives books away as soon as she's done. I can see ebooks making more sense in that case, especially if they're cheaper. :)

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  10. I love getting books for christmas/birthdays! But I also love getting beauty things like makeup and concert tickets so I only get a few books if any at all!

    I do have the problem of worrying that I won't like a book so if I asked for books for christmas I usually give the person a list and let them choose as many or as little from the list as they want (all paperbacks and none over £7 each) which works out well for everyone involved because apparently i'm pretty hard to shop for.

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    1. Hard to shop for? But you have so many things in that comment alone: makeup, concert tickets, books. That's three already! :D

      But keeping the price low on your wishlist items sounds like an excellent idea. People don't have to cringe at buying $20 hardcovers and you don't have to cringe if you wind up hating it. :)

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