We can always think of things we love to receive in an occasion. I haven’t heard of a wish list not having addition anymore: one is granted and three more are added.
What if you hate, dislike, or after invoking the sensitive, humane part of your personality—with just a change of color or design or little detail in the gift—you could almost say “I like it,” but you cannot.
Instead, you utter the modest, kind words—thank you!
Though such words sounds pleasing to the ears, being in that position is what I dread or has been stopping me to do what I am yearning—book gifting.
Like any other presents, giving book under the disguise of a beautiful box or wrapper that gives more excitement to the recipient, is risky, way too dangerous, but not in the case of a bibliophile.
Sometimes I wish the person I’m suppose to give present to has love for reading, or at least skimming the pages just so I can have a great time in a bookstore scouring the shelves for the fortunate future reader.
Otherwise, it’s a torture because I don’t have the talent on how to choose the best gift for an occasion.
In one incident, I dared the challenge of the art of giving. I’ve chosen the day and determined to succeed. I gave myself one hour to scour the mall.
But things didn’t go according to plan; I kept going to the places I’ve been and still I cannot decide. Tired, frustrated, and defeated, I bought what I thought anybody can’t refuse: chocolates. (I presumed that the recipients do not have health-related reason not to have one.)
That’s why I ask myself: “Am I really not bestowed with the talent of gifting that doesn’t involve books?”
The Art (and Risk) of Book Gifting
Appreciation is the stimulus of gift giving. And influence is what determines or affect the decision in determining what to give.
As the giver, I choose based on the influence of what I like that the recipient would also, even just a little, approve of, having pleasure once the wrapper reveals my choice.
I am reflecting my penchant for books to others; all the more, I want to encourage them the habit of reading.
My good intention is still an alibi.
It’s not about me but the preference, personality, and the hobby of the person receiving the gift are the basis of finding the right present for the occasion, a very simple solution.
However, does this apply if we don’t know the recipient personally—a predicament made worst if you’re on a budget. Even in a tight budget, we always want to give the best gifts to make people happy so when opening the present, even in your absence, a genuine smile is effortlessly made.
Anyone would be saddened if the recipient is already thinking of regifting the present because of having lots of it already such as frames, mug etc. (Isn’t it a familiar scenario?)
This is same the reason why I wanted to give book as a gift. Within the pages is a wealth of knowledge protected by paperback or hardcover. And if possible, I prefer to wrap a collector’s edition book set.
Each person has a unique quality so is a book; I believe one can find something worth reading.
Gift Ideas for My Family
For my mother, I wouldn’t go wrong with the Bible—the world’s best-selling book translated in different languages.
She taught me how to choose the Catholic Bible when I’m buying a replacement for the old, mutilated one which I fixed several times.
The ideal Bible (referring to the physical form) for my mom has huge letters for easy reading, written in Filipino (our national language) for better understanding, and size that would fit in her bag for light traveling.
Someday, I wish to inherit her habit of reading the Bible every day, not just in times of trial and leisure but to make the word of God part of my life—by reading and most importantly by putting into practice.
My brother used to love reading; in fact, he thought me to read books borrowed from the library. But as he aged, he lost the interest except for classic novels about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Who can forget their adventures: fighting Injun Joe, living at the Jackson’s Island just to name a few?
I understand why he learns to love those mischievous characters; the “child at heart” inside of us is like Tom and Huck always looking for fun. We owe such pleasure to Samuel Langhorne Clemens (pen name Mark Twain).
For my sister, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is my first choice.
We wanted it more after we watched the movie version that highlights the important parts of the diary. Reading reveals more details and incites one’s imagination that we can almost feel the emotion, the pain of the characters living, hiding from the menacing Nazis.
My sister is a voracious reader, especially of novels, so my second choice is any fiction written by Paulo Coelho, among her favourite authors.
For girl friends, there’s no question inspirational gift book is a must. One of my friends professed her aspiration for Chicken Soup for the Soul books. I think she would appreciate any book of the series, but knowing her the book about “affair of the heart” is what she would love to have the most.
As for myself, I love the Purpose Driven Life given by a friend. I wouldn’t hesitate to have it as a gift for others and not just to friends.
It’s based from the Bible. It inevitably evokes pain as realization sets in to the reader. Every page is full of longing, searching, and running away from God. I recommend Purpose Driven Life to everyone.
When it comes to family and friends I would dare to do book gifting, but one after the other.
So you might ask where’s the challenge in this?
I must admit, I’m being on the safe side of the road when I thought of these book gift ideas for the people I hold dear.
Maybe someday in the right occasion, I can muster the courage to wrap a book for someone, an acquaintance, or a stranger if only the time comes on which everyone can appreciate a book as a gift and jump for joy just as they would if they receive an iPad or BlackBerry or LED TV. That’s too much to ask.
I’m now passing the baton, the challenge. Do you dare? Try first to your loved ones. Then you can try the greater feat of book gifting to others.