How To: Choose the Perfect Book Gift

Are you wondering how to select the perfect book gift for your friends and family? Check out these questions to ask before you buy. | NewberyandBeyond.com
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A friend recently asked me for advice on choosing a book gift, and this got me thinking about how difficult it is sometimes to pick an amazing book to give as a gift to someone else, even if you know them well. I think the best way to choose the perfect book gift is to ask yourself questions about the gift recipient, so I hope the following questions help you choose!

  • Does your friend enjoy fiction or nonfiction? This one question will narrow your options greatly.
  • Is there a particular interest that has been consuming all of her energy recently? This might be running, soap making, parenting, baking, Russian history… the list could go on forever. If your gift recipient has a new passion, your job just got a whole lot easier.
  • Does he have an aversion to foul language, violence, etc.? I tend to skim scenes that I know would bother me, but many people would rather just avoid such a book altogether. By keeping this in mind, you can avoid giving your friend a book that will make him uncomfortable.
  • Does she need something lighthearted or something serious-minded? If your friend has been going through a tough time, you might give her something lighthearted, like a cozy mystery or a fantasy novel (you can check out my list of books to read when you’re stressed out for more ideas). But if she’s looking to chew on some big ideas (or get outraged about injustice), you might pick literary fiction or something historical.
  • How much time does he have to put into reading? Maybe he has a newborn or a demanding job. Or maybe he’s about to go on vacation and wouldn’t mind something long to fill up the time. The amount of time your recipient will have to read the book you give them can help dictate the length of that book.
  • If your gift recipient is a big bookworm and you’re afraid of choosing a book they’ve already read, consider a bookish gift. (If you want my best suggestions for bookish gifts that aren’t books, sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send it to you!)

Have you given any book gifts that were particularly successful? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

About Monica

I am obsessed with all things books. I'm a music teacher by day and a freelance editor by night.

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